Marketing From A Woman's Point of View


Women To Watch – Natalie Sisson, Founder of WomanzWorld and Co-Founder of Connection Point Systems

The technology industry has sadly been lacking women based start-ups, but in our Women to Watch interview today you will meet Natalie Sisson who’s aiming to change that.Natalie’s the Founder of WomanzWorld, an awesome resource for other women entrepreneurs to connect and learn, and Co-Founder of ConnectionPoint Systems, the smart tech company that created Fundrazr – the Social Commerce app for Facebook that provides relief from headaches caused by fee and donation collection.

Self described as an Evolutionary Entrepreneur, find out what inspired Natalie to turn her tech idea into a successful business,  how her entrepreneurial journey is helping other women entrepreneurs, and the role social media has played in her success so far.

To start off, Natalie, could you please describe what you do and how you earn your living?

I’m the passionate Founder of WomanzWorld.com – the Ultimate Resource for Female Entrepreneurs. I’m also Co Founder of ConnectionPoint Systems, a technology startup that has created FundRazr, a Social Commerce application on Facebook.

What most influenced you to launch your business?

I was fortunate enough to meet my business partner at a networking event over a wine and cheese board and was sold on his idea to provide relief from fundraising and fee collection headaches. Having managed several sports teams I knew how frustrating it could be collecting cash, checks and IOUs and knew that a solution that allows you to tap into your social networks do all that online would be so beneficial. It’s been an amazing opportunity to take an idea through to conception and launch.

WomanzWorld.com came out of my desire to connect with more women in the technology industry. The first thing I noticed is that it’s dominated by men, yet I knew there were plenty of women in business that I could benefit from meeting and collaborating with.

WomanzWorld became a platform to reach them from and also to write about my experiences as an entrepreneur and share my learnings, as well as interview amazing women in business and profile useful resources and tools to help female entrepreneurs grow their business.

Up until now it’s been purely a passion and hobby however I’ve had such a great response and seen incredible growth that I am turning it into an online business that provides value to women in business and to myself.

Why do you think the female factor is so important in today’s economy and business world?

Women have so much to give that I wrote a blog post about the Unique Advantages and traits of women entrepreneurs. The main factors that point to why we’re playing such a huge part in the success of the economy and business are:

Emotional Intelligence, intuition and instincts, ability to multi-task, our ability to connect with each other, persistence and patience, natural marketers and networkers and we’re consistent in our actions.

Women are starting businesses at double the rate of men right now and it’s also been proven that women make more effective leaders.

Have you used the marketing concept of tribes in your business?  Do you feel this concept can help other female entrepreneurs in their business pursuits?

Definitely, women are incredible at supporting and promoting each other, especially when faced with the same situation. In the workplace I’ve seen a tendency for unhealthy attitudes and competition, but what I’ve noticed as an entrepreneur is that it’s the complete opposite. Every woman I’ve met is there to help and be helped.

It’s ironic that I’ve recently launched the Vancouver chapter of Tribal-Truth – a community of women empowering women.  I’ve also started the Dream Squad with some close friends and women in business purely for the reason that I find a collective far more powerful and valuable then my own individual efforts.

I’m so excited to see the tribe that’s building through WomanzWorld.com and the mutually beneficial relationships that are coming out of it.

How do you use social media for your business?

Social Media has been an incredible benefit to me both personally and professionally. I’ve been able to build relationships and access audiences online that have transcended to offline. Had it not been for Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn I may never have known, let alone met so many amazing people.

What’s more the social networks and social media tools allow for me to spread my message to people that are interested, and allow them to spread it further if they find it useful and beneficial. It’s word of mouth marketing gone viral.

Submitting my articles to social bookmarking sites and to forums like those on LinkedIn has led to excellent discussions, real engagement as well as a remarkable increase in traffic to my site. I recently got asked by ForbesWoman to be featured on their site which I attribute to the visibility that social media has brought me.

I’ve been writing a series on Social Media Workouts for Entrepreneurs that talks about using an integrated social media campaign to deliver value to your business at little to no cost and that anyone not taking advantage of them is losing out.

How about social media ROI? What aspect of social media have you found to be the most help and/or most hindrance to your business?

Social Media can be liberating and energizing or a black hole that sucks away your time. I’ve found that if you remain focused and disciplined you can use it so effectively. It takes time, energy and commitment but it’s so worth it.

It’s also taught me many lessons about personal branding, being cognoscente of being your true authentic self, and being mindful of how people can perceive what you say in a different manner to that in which it’s intended. It’s definitely a constant learning opportunity that I embrace.

Have you had a mentor and if so, how has that helped you?

I only started approaching mentors last year and I’ve found them to invaluable. I’ve had a formal mentor through the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs program and then three informal relationships that I call on when I’m having specific issues that I’d like their expertise on. I’ve found it to be a two way relationship where you end up helping each other. I highly recommend it.

What would you say is the single biggest reason for your success?

I’m not sure I’d call myself a success yet…. I measure success based on being able to do what I love every day and have others love it to. So on that level, yes I feel successful and extremely lucky. I think success comes from being truly passionate and committed, from applying focused actions to what you do every day, from persevering where others give up, and by being true to your values no matter what.

If you could step back in time to when you were just starting out, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?

Give yourself a break. Women are especially hard on themselves and often doubt their abilities. If they’re not achieving perfection they feel their failing. Although it’s been hard I’m learning to embrace failure as a pivotal aspect of succeeding. It’s there to teach you a lesson so you do it better next time.

I’m learning that it’s all about the journey not the destination, and that so long as each day you’re taking one or two steps towards achieving your goals then you’re doing an amazing job. Success is not an overnight phenomenon. It’s a long and wonderful journey so enjoy it.

Can you share with us any plans or lifetime goals (personal or business) that we can look forward to from you?

I’m super excited to be launching my first products on WomanzWorld, these will be valuable products aimed at women entrepreneurs who want bite-sized tools that help them grow wildly successful businesses and achieve work life balance.

They’ll be a culmination of eBooks, online coaching programs and consulting based off a survey I ran to find out what challenges entrepreneurs have and what solutions they’re looking for.


What is the best way for our readers to learn more about you or contact you for more information?

I’d love for readers to visit WomanzWorld.com and join engage with me on @womanzworld and @nataliesisson.

All my points of contact are on my online business card natalieisson.tel

Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us, Natalie!  Congratulations on all your success with both Connection Point Systems and WomanzWorld (Yay! for your Forbes feature!!).  I am definitely looking forward to your new product launches coming soon and sharing much more with you in the future.  You Rock!

** COMMENT AND WIN !! **

Natalie is offering two lucky winners a great opportunity!  Receive a complimentary Social Media Analysis of your existing online presence and customized recommendations to make your brand sparkle!

All you have to do is leave a comment below sharing one benefit you picked up from Natalie’s interview and tell us how a customized Social Media Analysis will make a difference in your business.  I will choose two random winners on Monday and make an announcement.

Bonus: Receive an extra entry for commenting on any other post on Market Like A Chick to increase you chance of winning. All comments must be legitimate and relevant to be considered valid.

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> If you would like to be featured on Market Like A Chick, just check out the details on my Be Featured page.  You can choose to write a guest article of your own or be featured in an interview like this.  We want to hear from you!

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6 Tips To Writing Publicity Friendly Content

Your blog is craving attention and journalists are starving for new useful information to share with the public.   Top quality content attracts publicity, recognition and traffic.  Writing content that attracts journalists and backlinks from other bloggers takes a little know how but if you know how to write attention grabbing content for your readers, you’re halfway there.

Here are a few tips and strategies to write Publicity Friendly Content.

1.  Write Compelling Headlines

An average site visitor will spend 30 seconds checking out your article to decide if it’s worth their time to continue.  Start with a compelling headline that tells your reader what you’ll be talking about and how it can answer their needs.  Always remember to use “WIIFM” mentality.  What are you offering your readers?  Figure out a need and meet it.

One secret I learned for coming up with great headlines was to track what gets my attention.  Create a “swipe file”, which is a list of all the headlines in your email inbox that grab your attention.  Swipe and file those headlines as a resource to return to for ideas.

Without a doubt, you MUST do a little keyword research when creating your headlines.

You do this for a number of reasons but the most important one is to learn the language of your audience.  What keyword phrases are they using to find the content they need?  The old sales term comes to mind “mirror and match”.  This means you practice being and speaking just like that person you are researching so there is a better – clearer – means of communication that they can relate to.  Speak their language.

Use the keywords and phrases in your headlines for a better search engine results, but don’t sound like you just pulled your headline from a dictionary.  Be human and speak like you normally would…just incorporate the keywords into your sentence.

Erika Napoletano just wrote an awesome post over on Copyblogger that explains Copywriting 3.0.  She has some great tips that add to this post on implementing SEO, real time search, article marketing and also suggests creating mobile versions of your website as trends lean that way.

A few resources for writing great headlines:

  • How To Write Magnetic Headlines – Copyblogger
  • A Top Headline Writing Trick Copywriting Gurus Love – Remarkablogger
  • 31 Days To Build A Better Blog - by Darren Rowse of Problogger

2.  Why Am I Here?

As we mentioned before, you have a matter of seconds to convince your visitor to continue reading your blog, so it’s important to have your message – or your blog’s purpose – to come through at first glance.

Remember your readers are always asking “WIIFM”. Can they identify your message and does it speak to them? Does your blog title, domain name, tag line and blog design give an immediate snapshot into what they can expect from you?

My goal with Market Like A Chick’s domain name was to take the “she throws like a chick” innuendo and dish it right back up with smart marketing strategies in the voice of a chick – a woman that can hang with the best of the guys and speak with a real, no BS viewpoint. I created my main header banner myself to include my personality…one that is current with the trends, a deep thinker, yet still definitely feminine.  Do you get that when you visit here?

When creating your content and lay out keep your points clear and your content formatted so it’s easy to read online. That means headings and subheadings with clear points and bullets or lists because the truth is, people tend to scan rather than read online.

A journalist looking for an article to publicize is not going to take more than a few moments to try and uncover your message.  Keep things easy to scan using subheading to pique the reader’s interest.  Your subheadings are just as important as your main headline to keep readers engaged.  Long, run-on paragraphs are boring and lose attention.

I generally try to keep my paragraphs between 2 to 4 sentences.  Just get your point across without making a reader dig through a bunch of rambling.

Don’t be afraid to use a one sentence paragraph to make a point and keep your reader from glazing over.

Some great resources:

  • Are You Trying To Be Too Smart – Men With Pens
  • Can Your Blog Explain Its Purpose in One Second? – Entrepreneur’s Journey

3. Use Images and Graphics

Whenever possible you should integrate graphics and data to support the information in your article and quote sources responsibly. Journalists take their work seriously, as we all should, and when our work is used without permission or proper attribution it is considered very bad etiquette.

If you’ve written your article based on a case study or market research you will usually find that the graphs have already been created for you.  If not, it’s fairly easy to create one in PowerPoint yourself and use the image in your article.

Images speak a thousand words and can help get your point across or prepare the reader for what to expect, simplifying the reading experience.

One of my most trafficked articles that received several trackbacks was written using a case study report that Razorfish had done on why we friend brands online.  It doesn’t have to be YOUR case study, just remember to quote your source for proper credit.  Your viewpoint is what readers are interested in and helps uncover the meaning of all those statistics.

4.  Make Your Content Newsworthy

Make sure your publicity friendly content has a point and the point is relevant and newsworthy. For example, an article about housetraining a dog may not be newsworthy though your prospects may be drawn to your site to access that information.

However, if your article is about the rise in homeless animals and the need for more adoption, which could then lead into information about housetraining a new dog or link to an article on housebreaking a dog then you’re fulfilling the needs of journalists and your audience at the same time.

Journalists and publications seem to love “top lists”.  You can create a list for whatever niche you are writing about.  Think of what has benefited you as you have learned your industry…what authors helped you the most, what 20 things did you discover were a waste of precious time, where can you find resources to save time or money?  Get creative and make your list.

One example that I used was the 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs by Women that had made a difference in my journey.  I put together the list of all the women I had networked with, learned from and respected.  It took me weeks to put together this one article, but it was worth it since it was picked up and published on Forbes!  Not only did I benefit, but so did those 20 ladies.

5.  Share Your Industry Knowledge

Journalists respect and flock to experts in a particular industry and if your website is consistently leading with information and discussing the latest industry news you stand a great chance of becoming their go-to person.

Using your keywords that we talked about in #1 will help journalists find you.  Without those keywords and your name associated with them how will anyone ever know you have the experience they are seeking?

Google your name, your industry niche, and industry keywords to get an idea of where you rank and what type of message you are sending for Google to reference.

When I wrote my series on using social media for event marketing I made sure I checked keyword competition and the amount of search traffic for various phrases before publishing.  Because of this my articles appeared on the first page of Google which led IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) to my blog and my work was discovered.

I just finished writing an original article on event marketing with social media for IABC’s  monthly newsletter which goes out to over 15k subscribers.

Awesome resource for keyword research learning:

  • Cloud Living – by Glen Allsop of PluginID and Viper Chill

6.  Create Your Own Media Kit

Finally, make sure you have a media page on your website with photos, bios and contact information. You may also want to post links to press releases, published work, awards, recognition and any other information that will add credibility.

If you have great publicity friendly content but forget your media page, then you could be losing valuable opportunities.

You will find most of this information on my About Me page…barring the photos, which is still one of my most dreaded requests.  Yes, I need it.  Yes, I know I am probably missing out…so what is my problem??  I’m working on my camera shyness, so bear with me as I overcome this last hurdle.  Don’t be like me in this case. ;-)

When designing your content strategy for the next quarter or year, make sure to include regular publicity friendly content, it can work quite well to attract media attention while at the same time add credibility to your website and still help draw traffic from prospects and customers.

What say ye??  Do you have any other tidbits you might offer to get your content noticed?  Start the discussion below in the comments section.  Replies are usually posted within the hour.

To Your Success,

P.S. ~> All of the resources I’ve listed here have been tremendous help to me.  A couple of the links are affiliate links, but most are completely free.  If you only choose the free options you will still benefit.  If you do decide to purchase I hope you will use my link as appreciation for turning you on to such a valuable resource!  :)
Napoletano
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Single Most Important Thing A Blogger Needs To Know

What is the single most important thing to know when you are writing a blog?  Is it the technical experience to design and troubleshoot your theme and website?  Or maybe a degree in journalism so you can write properly formatted article?  Those may both be nice to know but the single most important thing in creating loyal readership for your blog is this:

Know what your readers want to hear from you.

My goal has always been to provide quality articles that will both teach and inspire.  I began Market Like A Chick in February, 2009 and have written on marketing topics covering social media, event marketing, blogging, personal branding as well as maintaining a positive marketing mindset. While I’ve had a great response to my efforts so far, I don’t want to be so spread out or covering so many topics that you are not getting what you came for.

So, I’m asking for your help.  I’d like to know what areas YOU would like to see covered more frequently or in more detail in my posts.  As I add more contributing authors you’ll begin to see more content being posted and I want to be sure the topics are on base.  (If you’d like to be a contributing writer please email me a sample of your work or see the details on my Be Featured page)

It’s all about you, baby!  So, here’s your chance…

Please do me a ginormous favor and take a couple minutes of your time to answer this poll and help me give you what you’re looking for.  Feel free to leave comments or suggestions here as well.


To Your Success,

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5 Steps To Rekindle Missed Opportunities

How many times have you let an opportunity fall off your radar, or worse, completely missed an opportunity because you didn’t take the time to ponder the possibilities with a contact?

Don’t write those off as lost opportunities so fast. Like the smoldering wood of a once burning fire, what appears to be a missed opportunity cold from neglect may just need a little attention to rekindle into your next hot business idea.

No one enjoys being forgotten or neglected, yet at one point, we’ve all either had it happen to us or we’ve been the one that has forgotten to follow up.  While it is unfortunate circumstance, it doesn’t have to be a permanent one.  Since we’ve all done it there’s no reason to be embarrassed or uncomfortable about reestablishing a business conversation that fell wayside.

Every business owner wants more business.  So, don’t feel weird.

Here are my top 5 steps for rekindling missed opportunities into new business:

1.  Search Your Calendar, Day Planner, or Journal

Spend  some quality time looking back over the past few months.  How far you go back depends on how long it’s been since you’ve done this exercise.  If this is the first time you may want to look over the last 12 months, otherwise go back at least 3 months.

Take notice of where you spent your time and which appointments you had that did not produce results.

Try to remember the people you met and the conversations you had. Did you follow up as effectively as you might? Did you explore all the possibilities?

2.  Clear Out The Clutter

Go through and clear out all the places you stick your miscellaneous papers and notes:  Your Rolodex, business card file, smart phone, purse, wallet, briefcase, or car.

Don’t throw away or delete anything until you have thought about potential opportunities.  Look particularly for people who’ve slipped off your radar. Which business relationships may benefit from some rekindling?

See that pile of business cards that you set on your desk when you came home all pumped up from your last networking event?  Rekindle that great sense of achievement and gusto you had and go back through the cards now with a fresh outlook.  What was it that was so interesting back then? Did you write any notes on the backs of the cards?

If you use a Poken to exchange social media contact info instantly at events, go back through and check out the profiles of those you spoke with.  Has anything changed?  New jobs? New products?  Find a reason to reach out.

3. Clean Up Your Inbox

I am admittedly one of the worst at returning emails and am making a public apology right now to everyone that I have not gotten back to.  I don’t mean to do this, but I am a confessed multi-tasker that has fallen off the wagon.  Great intentions, lots of ideas (too many ideas…maybe that’s my problem), and joint venture opportunities lie dormant because of lost focus or dizzying distractions.

Regularly clearing your email inbox is a major accomplishment and quite a liberating experience.  Sort, take action and get rid of the rest.

A bit of my own advice:

Don’t leave email sitting in your in box. Organize in folders, when you check your email take action immediately by scheduling to calendar, replying, or moving to your to-do list if it needs more thought.

4.  Get Through Those Files

Ugh, the dreaded deed.  Papers shoved inside slightly corresponding folders, folders sitting in piles on the desk waiting to be organized, mail and notes kept with some intention of follow up still staring at you with guilty eyes.

Picture the stack of money with eyeballs atop from the Geico commercial.  “Hey, this is the money you could be making if you called this contact”

Chances are amongst that junky looking mess there are some golden opportunities waiting for you.  After all, you kept some of that paperwork for a good reason.  Now go find it, take it out of the file, and take action on it.

5. Make An Announcement

Post an article on your blog or and update to your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profile inviting your friends, followers, and customers to point out missed opportunities.  Write and send out an email or bulletin to contacts or staff asking them their thoughts on opportunities you may not have seen or inviting them to kick you in the pants for not following up on what they saw as a great business idea.

Male and female alike, we sometimes underestimate ourselves or fail to see a natural talent we have that could be our profitable passion. So often others see things in us that we cannot see ourselves. Ask for outside opinions, listen to suggestions, and be willing to accept a compliment.

Act on the suggestions and opportunities that feel right.

By taking these 5 steps and applying them on a quarterly basis you’ll have a system to keep you fanning the flames of still smoldering opportunities.  You may never be the super follow-through genius that never misses a beat…but, you don’t ever have to miss an opportunity again.

What are your best tips for rekindling missed opportunities?  Have you ever experienced a business success from sorting through old information or contacts?  Share your thoughts and stories with us below.

To Your Success,

P.S. –> Have I missed an opportunity?  Do you have a business idea, joint venture, or marketing opportunity you’d like to share with me?  Did I flake out and not return your email?  Forgive me…and please contact me to rekindle our business opportunity!  You can email me directly at coree[at]marketlikeachick[dot]com.
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The Basics Of Forum Marketing For Your Small Business

One of the most suggested means of getting traffic to a site is to get involved in forum discussions (or bulletin boards as they are also called) on your topic of choice.  You can find highly targeted forums that are organized and structured around just about any niche or industry you can think of, such as Internet marketing, web design, and search engine optimization.  You’ll also find that forum users are generally pretty Internet savvy and are open to making online purchases.

Internet Forums

Forums are places where people with similar interests can meet, exchange information and chat online. To become a member of an Internet forum you usually have to sign up on a membership site. This doesn’t involve any money. Sites want to keep up how many members they have.

According to Harvey Segal (Mr SuperTips), author of Forum Marketing SuperTips, there are 4 major reasons why people use forums:

  1. They can get advice: for example − troubleshooting products, hardware or software; to get their site reviewed;  to ask for opinions about a product before purchasing; or about a business opportunity or affiliate program they plan to join.
  2. They can discover new products, ideas, tips, tools
  3. They can make contact with others, and possibly set up joint ventures
  4. Site promotion

Once you join and become a forum member, you can access the forum by creating a username and password. When you log in, you have access to all the different topics and threads (each conversation started by forum members).

The sites include other perks and ways to join in but the forum is where most people go to congregate and talk. You can use these forums to not only promote your website but also get a little extra traffic that can add up to big benefits for your business.

Choosing Forums

Not just any forum will do. You want to find forums that pertain to your target market. For instance, if you sell lighting fixtures, you’ll want to look for DIY (do-it-yourself) forums for a start. Also, look into forums for contractors and builders. They certainly use lighting fixtures in their line of work.

In these forums, half of the work is done for you. You are already accessing your target market, but the rest is up to you. That is why conducting yourself well on these forums is important and makes this type of website promotion one of the most profitable.  Forum marketing is a type of “self promotion” as well as site promotion.

Your goal should be to be seen as an expert in your field, not to get traffic to your site.  If your reason is purely to drive traffic to your site, you probably won’t be terribly successful and people will definitely know what you are up to.

Using the Forum

Participating in forums can provide valuable insight to business owners. Not only for sales, but for some good perspectives from others in your industry as well as potential clients. Before you jump into talking about your business, think about  what would build your trust and what would break it down.  It’s pretty obvious to say that spammers would tick you off, but people who participate and also help others, would inspire your trust.

The same social media rules of engagement apply to forums and forum marketing.  Interact with people in the forum. There is a wealth of knowledge there. You can offer expert advice and get help yourself. Their advice to you can help you implement changes that benefit your business.

Use your signature line to promote your website. Include a link here along with your name. The more you post in existing threads and your own, people whose trust you gain will begin to click on that link and check out your website.  Even if you don’t include a signature with your posts, you can still make a name for yourself and, in the long term, this will prove to be a far more profitable approach.

Internet forums that cater to your target market have a two-fold benefit. First, they help you get in touch with the type of person you seek for your business and second, you can establish yourself as an expert and use your signature line to promote your website.

I just came across an ebook that I’ve found to be very helpful and expect you will too.  Every day across countless thousands of forums on the Net, people are asking questions. Those who can answer them have a great opportunity to build their authority and their business.

Forum Marketing SuperTips, by Harvey Segal (Mr SuperTips) is neatly set out, easy to follow, written without the hype that drives me insane, and not littered with annoying links.  In his book you’ll find out:

  • how to find exactly what forum visitors are looking for
  • how to quickly create a resource that will answer their questions
  • how to make superior postings to get people to visit your resource – with no hype and no ads and no affiliate links
  • how you will profit handsomely from these visits

It’s packed with solid tips on “How to Post at Forums – for Profit” And the cost of this collection of gems ?

It’s free!

Of course, you know there are going to be opportunities intertwined to sell you paid ebooks or programs, but whether you partake in any of those or not, you should have this ebook in your arsenal of Internet marketing strategies.

What success have you had with forum marketing?  LinkedIn and Yahoo! have their q&a discussions, too.  Have you looked into offering your smarts on those groups?  What other discussions or forums have you used?  Leave your comments below.

To Your Success,

There are 4 major reasons why people use forums − or discussion groups or
bulletin boards as they are also called.
1) They can get advice: for example − to get their site reviewed, to ask
for opinions about a product before purchasing or about a business
opportunity or affiliate program they plan to join
·
· 2) They can discover new products, ideas, tips, tools
3) They can make contact with others, and possibly set up joint
ventures
BUT
this book will concentrate on the 4th reason
·
· 4) Site promotion
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Persistence Pays – 4 Easy Tricks To Teach Yourself Self Discipline

Why is it so darn easy to say you’re going to do something and then so difficult to follow through and actually make it happen? The key is to cultivate self-discipline and persistence however, that’s sometimes easier said than done, right?

Here are a few tips to become self-disciplined and persistent – tips to make things happen in your life!

#1 – Eliminate, or at least set aside, emotion.

Self-discipline is the ability to move forward and to take action regardless of how you feel. Let’s say you decide you want to lose weight. When you make that decision, you’re probably feeling pretty motivated and confident. You probably went so far as to formulate a plan to make it happen.

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you decide you’re going to get up every day and exercise for 30 minutes as part of your weight loss plan. That may go along just great for a couple days until one morning you wake up and,  for one reason or another, you’re not feeling so uber-motivated or even slightly positive about the thought of moving your aching butt out of that bed.

It happens to all of us and it’s completely understandable. The difference between the person with self-discipline and those without is that the person without will let their emotions affect their decisions and actions. Instead of getting up and exercising, they’ll stay in bed.

To cultivate self-discipline and persistence, set those emotions aside. Recognize them, accept them, and then move them aside and don’t let them get in the way of your goals.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” – Calvin Coolidge

#2  – Cultivate an appreciation and a pattern of success

It’s always easier to persevere if you’re accustomed to succeeding.  This is because your brain sets in motion certain peptides that become hardwired for success and you create habits. You are in charge of your habits of success or habits of failure.  It’s your CHOICE.

To become accustomed to succeeding, start setting little goals each day and week. Sticking with the weight loss example, because it’s so accessible, if you set a goal to lose 100 pounds that goal will seem huge and unattainable.

However, if you set a goal to lose 3 pounds, then that’s a more attainable goal. You’ll accomplish it and feel great about yourself. The next step, would to then set another attainable goal and to continue the process thus developing a pattern of success. However, even if your long-term goal is to lose weight, it’s good to cultivate this skill in all areas of your life.

Set goals for productivity, financial matters, personal habits and relationships, any area of your life where you would benefit from a pattern of success, willpower and persistence.

#3 – Make small changes

In line with setting attainable goals and developing a pattern of success, make small changes in your life towards a larger goal. For example, if you want to lose weight then one habit to change might be to drink more water. So you might want to drink one glass of water with every meal and snack.This is a small change but it makes a big difference in your life. It may offer some challenges but they’re certainly challenges you can manage, thus developing your persistence and will power with smaller, and meaningful steps.

If you’re not sure what changes to make to get started you might consider following the footsteps of a trusted mentor.  It’s always easier to have a template to follow.  It’s also a subconscious way of convincing yourself that success is possible because someone else has accomplished the goal.  Your brain uses it to eliminate the “impossibility factor”.    Remember to follow a leader.  We all know how to fail in business...you want to follow a proven success.

#4 – Reward yourself for your accomplishments

Celebrating your successes is a great way to help you stay positive and persistent toward achieving your goals. Self-discipline and persistence aren’t something we’re all born with but it is something you can develop.  Reward yourself by buying that new laptop you’ve been drooling over or just take a day to relax and soak in the feeling of no work and all play.

What ways have you found to  keep yourself disciplined and persistent?  Have you had success in achieving a long or short term goal? Please share your  comments below.

To Your Success,

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Attending Live Social Media Events – Which Events Are Right For You?

Live events are a great way to network with others in your business field. Human interaction builds strong relationships. Also, you get to practice those networking skills in person. But, what events are right for you?

Live events are going on all around you. The trick: knowing where to look.

Where To Find Events of Interest

  • Visit your favorite blogs for information. If your bloggers are speaking or attending a conference they will want to let their readers know about it. Most of the time you will see a badge or a list in the sidebar or if they’re very busy speakers you may find a separate page with their engagements listed.  Ask for more information if they don’t provide a link.
  • Visit forums. Business forums usually have a place where they list upcoming events both online and offline. Check to see which are close to you and if they are on a topic that interests you.
  • Visit social networking sites. These are great for business connections. If friends are hosting events or attending, they may post an invite to the event for their business contacts. Read the information and attend.
  • See my events list. Since you’re here on my blog I figure you’re interested in some of the same events I am.  You can see my wish list of events I’m looking to be SPONSORED for on my Sponsor Me page.

If you’re a business looking for a professional conference blogger that’s the page to find one!  Whether it be me or another blogger, it’s important to know how to reach out to a blogger and find the best match.  I wrote an article on Branding With Blogger Outreach that may be helpful in your approach.

If you’re a blogger that would like to be sponsored for an event, let me know and I’ll post a few of the tips I’ve learned.

JD Lasica put together an awesome Calendar for 2010 conferences and events that lists best social media, tech­nol­ogy, media and mar­ket­ing con­fer­ences for the upcom­ing year.  It’s a great starting point for your research.

Finding Events For Your Interests or Niche

The live events you choose may interest you in two ways:

  • Professionally
  • Personally

Professionally, choose live events that are relevant to your business. You wouldn’t attend a crafting seminar if you sell gardening supplies. And, you probably would pass on a seminar that highlights how offline businesses can get into online markets if you already own an online business.

It can be hard to decide if you are new to online business. Because you aren’t sure what you need to know, you don’t know what live events will be best for you. Here are some pointers:

  • Check geographic location – Your first time out, you might want to stay close to home to lower costs. Money is often tight when you just get up and running.
  • Look at event registration costs – Now, money is not the only consideration. As the fees get more expensive, your attendees will reach a different caliber as well. And, some events are tax deductible as a business expense. What we are talking about here is to see if you can swing the cost for a highly rated event that will benefit your business in many ways. Or you could consider offering your promotion skills for a brand that can’t attend an event and be sponsored to go.
  • Look at the speakers – Who is coming that you really feel you can learn from? Don’t go just because the speaker is well known…make sure their topic and speaking style is going to be something that you will be able to absorb and implement in your own business.  If the speakers are some of your favorite bloggers or online business owners that you have been wanting to meet, don’t pass up the chance to have your questions answered and gain some insight.

Choosing a live event to attend doesn’t have to be a hard decision. Gather as much information as you can about upcoming events, their location and fees so you can map out your networking strategy. Be prepared with which sessions you want to attend, who you want to meet with, and what you will say when you do meet your mentors in person. (Perfect that elevator speech!)

What events are you planning on attending this year? Why did you choose those?  Have you found any other sites that list upcoming events that you can share? Please leave your questions or tips below in the comment section.  I love hearing from you!

To Your Success,

P.S. –> When you attend events your goal is to network and collect as many contacts as possible to follow up with later.  Show your digital style, save precious time, and stay organized with a sweet little gadget called Poken.  You can collect social network info with one touch of a button and it’s saved forever.  Check out the post I wrote on How To Exchange Social Media Contact Info Instantly at Events for more info on Poken.

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Women To Watch – Interview With Kelly Watson, Founder of One Woman Marketing

Today’s interview for our Women To Watch series is with a super lady and female entrepreneur, Kelly Watson, founder of One Woman Marketing.  Kelly started out much the same way most of us did, with one plan in mind…but as her business took off she found herself branching out and building a successful copywriting and marketing masterpiece.   Read on to see how Kelly has used her skills and personality to launch her own online business.

I feature one woman entrepreneur every Wednesday for my Women To Watch series. If you would like to be featured on Market Like A Chick, just check out the details on my Be Featured page and get back to me. We want to hear from you!

To start off, Kelly, could you please describe what you do and how you earn your living?

I’m a copywriter and online marketing consultant. I work with small business owners to develop marketing strategies and write the copy that will attract new customers and make more sales. When I’m not working, I update my blog or hang out on Facebook and Twitter.

What most influenced you to launch your business?

At first, I only wanted to write for a living. Copywriting is a field I came to begrudgingly, because like most artistic folks at one point in time, I thought marketing was “selling out.” It took me years to develop a marketing and copywriting style that felt authentic. Once I did, I realized that I loved the inherent challenge and creativity. Today I help other women business owners overcome the same hesitations I once had, and it’s so rewarding to see them embrace their talents.

Why do you think the female factor is so important in today’s economy and business world?

Women have different strengths than men, and we have different working styles. Up until now, the business world has accepted “masculine” styles as the norm. But as more women enter the workplace and brand marketing takes a backseat to relationship marketing, businesses are starting to realize women’s unique gifts.

How do you use social media for your business?

I know it’s a cliché, but I use social media to build relationships. Business comes second. Sure, using social media has created lots of referrals, but that wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t talked to new people and got to know them better.

It’s fun to see what friends, colleagues and clients are thinking and feeling as they go about their daily lives. I wouldn’t have that intimacy if it wasn’t for Twitter and Facebook. Similarly, it lets them know that I’m a human being – not just a corporation out to make a profit.

How about social media ROI? What aspect of social media have you found to be the most help and/or most hindrance to your business?

I use social media as a springboard for in-person relationships. I attend Tweetups, Meetups, and Facebook events whenever I can, and I’ve met a ton of people that way.

Some have become clients, and others have given me business advice or referrals. Even people who don’t directly support my business are supportive of me, and the feeling of having a community behind me is comforting – especially on those days when I feel like I’ve been staring at my computer for too long!

What would you say is the single biggest reason for your success?

I’m not afraid to ask for help and advice. Occasionally people brush me off, but let me tell you – it’s no fun learning the hard way, and there are tons of women out there who have already achieved what you want to achieve, and would be honored to show you how. I’m constantly surprised by people’s generosity.

If you could step back in time to when you were just starting out, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?

Get busy failing. I was so obsessed with doing everything perfectly that I wasted a lot of time on things that didn’t really matter. The value I placed on perfection stopped me from taking risks that would have helped me grow. Now I fail with enthusiasm.

It has taken me a long time to get to this point and I’m still learning to really embrace failure, but it has become a bigger part of the process. Now whenever I fail at something, I think to myself: “Hey – this will make an awesome blog post!” And it usually does.

Can you share with us any plans or lifetime goals (personal or business) that we can look forward to from you?

I’ll be hosting a series of free teleseminars starting in the spring, on topics such as:

  • · Women’s Natural Marketing Strengths
  • · Copywriting From The Heart
  • · Blogging for Small Businesses

I’ll also be offering marketing coaching packages for women business owners sometime in the near future – just sign up for the newsletter on my web site to get details and discounts when they become available.

What is the best way for our readers to learn more about you or contact you for more information?

I blog at OneWomanMarketing.com, where you’ll find a sign-up section for a twice-monthly newsletter with more free resources. You can also find me on Twitter @KellyWatson, and on Facebook at Facebook.com/KellyKautz.

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share your success story with us, Kelly.  I definitely agree with you about getting busy doing SOMETHING as soon as possible.  Coming from a fellow perfectionist, I know how marketing fears can hold you back. I call it “paralysis from analysis”!

I’ve had a few people ask me if I do any freelance content writing, and I haven’t really gone that path, but I would definitely recommend Kelly for any copywriting and/or content writing if you are looking for someone to help you out.  Take a few minutes to check out her blog and you’ll see why!  Please show Kelly your support her with your questions and comments below.

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> If you would like to be featured on Market Like A Chick, just check out the details on my Be Featured page.  You can choose to write a guest article of your own or be featured in an interview like this.  We want to hear from you!

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Social Media Policies and Compliance Software For Businesses

More businesses are beginning to realize the power of marketing with social media and the real time benefits of social CRM on sites like Twitter. However, along with the benefits come concerns regarding compliance, reputation management and employee productivity.

There will always be those times when someone hits that send button and immediately regrets it, but when it comes to a company’s reputation the regrets can be damaging to the brand. An uninformed employee in a highly regulated industry, such as financial services, may create a compliance issue in a Facebook conversation without realizing what she has done.

Can You Avoid The Social Media Journey?

A better question is “should” you.  Brands are realizing that people are talking about them on social networks with or without their approval.  Employers are realizing that they can turn their employees into brand ambassadors.  Social media can strengthen your brand not only as an employer but as a company. Take a look at Dell Outlet who, in a recent article, reported that Twitter has made Dell $1 million in revenue over the past year and a half.

Social networking is quickly becoming as mainstream as email and will soon make it’s way into every communication tool we use. For those companies that have not begun using social networking in workplace communications, Microsoft will soon be assisting you whether you’re ready or not. The new 2010 release of its email application Outlook will integrate with LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace, allowing users to find profiles for people in their contacts as well as view and post updates directly through Outlook.

Those organizations that figure out how to leverage those social capabilities without incurring more risk will be ahead of the game. So, how do businesses govern the social networking wildfire?

Social Media Policies

Most companies have existing communication policies that spell out how they expect employees to communicate via phone or email but few address the recent move to online conversations.  Recent surveys show that seven out of ten American companies have no formal policy in place to address how the company and its employees are to utilize social media.

Any company that has a social media presence these days can benefit from having some type of policy in place to protect the company legally and financially.  How much you say and regulate is up to you.  Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, has a one liner for his policy: “Be real and use your best judgment.” to allow for creativity and informal communication.  While Zappos may be able to maintain the laid back policy, it’s not in every brand’s best interests to follow his footsteps.

If you need a policy in place pronto there is an online policy generator to walk you through and have your policy in minutes.  PolicyTool has created a streamlined process where you simply answer a brief questionnaire and it provides you with a complete Social Media Policy customized to your company.

If you’re not sure where to begin or what to include in your social media guidelines you may want to take a look at what other companies have done. Interactive Insights Group has just put together a social media policies superlist that has load of resources to help you through. They’ve  organized them into a few sections – Advice and Resources, Nonprofits and Associations, and Examples of Social Media Policies.

Social Network Compliance Software

Companies in regulated industries are well aware of the rules governing electronic communications, from correspondence and email to sales materials and advertising. There is little room for compliance goofs and for those companies there are several software options that can be set in place.  Two vendors focusing specifically on social media governance are FaceTime and Socialware.

FaceTime sells an appliance, Secure Web Gateway, which monitors, controls and records content posted through the corporate network to social networking sites. With it you can control social media by setting and banning specific keywords that users may try to post on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users can also configure the product to prevent the post, notify the user it was against policy, record the incident and alert an administrator.

Socialware launched a cloud-based Social Middleware Platform last month which is an application that can filter, tag and archive every social post from the company network.  Once live, posts can be monitored for compliance,  routed for review if necessary, and archived to guarantee compliance with industry or corporate policies.

Needs Based Guidelines

When it comes to your social media policies, every company is going to differ on what type of engagement is acceptable. Even when a company has a clear social media policy in place with specifications as to what employees aren’t allowed to post, there is no guarantee that everyone will represent the company exactly as you want.

Employees can and will make mistakes, whether it be on social media sites or in some other aspect of their job, but the goal is to prevent the same mistake twice. It’s likely that your social media policy will evolve with time and experience.  It doesn’t have to be twenty pages long, just a few bullet points are really necessary.  You do want it to be read, right?

Does your company have social networking guidelines in place?  What has been your experience with social networking, brand reputation and employee productivity?  Did I miss anything that you can share here?  Please leave your comments below.

To Your Success,

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Time Saving Article Templates For Creating Fresh Content

In an earlier post this week, I shared benefits to using article marketing for your blog and how it can be highly effective in driving traffic to your site, increasing sales, and giving you the status of “expert”. That said, article writing does not come naturally to everybody. And even writers can run out of ideas sometimes.

A great way to overcome article writer’s block is by using templates. You can take a template and use it to churn out articles on any topic or niche. Below are three of the most commonly used templates used in article writing. Try them next time you’re trying to write but you keep drawing blanks:

The Magic 7

There must be something magical about the number 7 because article writers like to use it and readers like to read articles with the number “7” in the title. There are many variations of this:

  • 7 tips to…
  • 7 ways to…
  • 7 steps to…
  • 7 biggest mistakes in …
  • 7 reasons to…

Once you have your Magic 7 article, write one article about each of your 7 points. Voila! Now you’ve got 8 articles, baby!

The Review

Everyone has an opinion about something and people love hearing them.  Nowadays an opinion, or a review, of a product in an article or on a blog is one of the most influential factors in purchasing decisions.

Do some keyword research to find out what specific things people are Googling reviews for. I would use keywords that relate to my niche, or tie in somehow,  so it not only attracts new visitors but also benefits my loyal readers.  If you’re submitting the article to a directory you would want to use related keywords so the reader has a reason to visit your blog after finishing the article.

The outline for this article is simple: Introduce the item. Write what you liked about it. Discuss what you didn’t like about it. Finish with your bottom line – do you recommend it or not? If so, who would benefit most from it? Before you know it, you’ve got another article all finished. You can write reviews for:

  • Books
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Gadgets
  • Courses

How To

The most popular books are those with the words “how to” in the title. Same thing with articles. It seems we’re always looking for the easiest, the fastest, the best way to do something. So why not write a how-to article for your target audience? Some examples:

  • How to… (a step-by-step instruction)
  • How to avoid…
  • How to find…
  • How to choose the best…
  • How to get…

These are just a few article templates you can use to save time and beat writer’s block. And remember, you can use these templates for your blog posts, Email marketing, article marketing and newsletter ideas too. In fact, there are tons of ways to repurpose and reuse articles.

You’ll get even more ideas from Nicole Dean and Kelly McCausey’s Easy Article Marketing Course. It costs less than hiring a ghost writer, and will pay for itself many times over. You’ll learn not only how to write great articles, but how to get the most profits from them. At the very least, sign up for Nicole and Kelly’s free article marketing E-course.

Do you have any time saving templates you use for your articles?  What do you do to beat writer’s block or drum up new ideas for your articles?  We’d love to hear your ideas, so feel free to leave a comment below!

To Your Success,

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