Yes! Connect With Market Influencers

Have you ever asked ”Should I be connecting with influencers, and is it as valuable as people make it out to be ?”

The answer is a simple, straightforward “YES !” How you do it is up to you. I’m going to share my take on it with you.

It’s so much work to follow, share, quote, connect, and put yourself in the circles you desire. It’s difficult to see yourself in that bigger overall picture. If you’re anything like I was, you may say “It’s a waste of time why bother”, or something like “They’re out of my league, they won’t hear me”, and even this one “Why does this even matter?”

All the above excuses are detours that keep you playing small. As a woman who is also trying to connect out here, let me tell you. Stop that! Reaching out to influencers is valuable, you are worthy, and connecting with those influencing your market matters.

 

Below in a photo shared on Instagram you can see I’m speaking at The Ladies WHO Lunch Network “Get Social” event with Founder Maria Kritikos, and leading women in business Kristina Matisic, and Natalie Boll. I was honoured to be speaking at the event hosted in HootSuite HQ Lunch Hall (which is awesome BTW). I would never have been able to do this, if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort about a year prior.

Marie Forleo, Sheryl Sandberg, Elizabeth Gilbert, Mastin Kipp, Kimra Luna, Kris Carr, Danielle Laporte…and others. These are some of the large global influencers in my field, all of which I have had direct interactions and engagement with online. Also, all of which probably didn’t note it like I did when it happened. Cue the sound of crickets on their end vs the sound of celebration on mine. Not only do I like what they have to say and offer, so do many in my market. This made me feel a step closer.

 

These interactions came in the form of replies, social likes, private inbox back and forth, and my comments being shared to their very large email list.

So What? You ask.

 

This is about intentions. If you want (or feel like you are) to be aligned with certain influencers or certain circles, and you envision yourself at this influencers level, then you need to take the action to put yourself right where you want to be.

With heart, and being a good human in mind. I mean, don’t be pushy. This isn’t about you, but it does support you. When your market can see you interacting on social media with the influencers they care about, they care about you a little bit more. Connecting enables you to reach more of the people you influence.

Taking action is declaring your intentions and it says to the world “This, I want more of this!”

So I want to tell you the obligatory “Go get em!” remark here.

How I do it. My complete strategy for connecting with influencers at all levels is too long to post here, so I’ll summarize. Reach out to be supportive, share value, and connect with respect. Expect to be heard, expect to be seen, and expect to connect in some way. Always, always be grateful.

Ideas how you can do it:

  • Loved a book you read? Say that! Make sure you include the authors handle in your social post.
  • Liked a tweet your influencer shared? Don’t just Re-Tweet, Quote the tweet and add your voice. Start the conversation. Twitter continues to be well responded to. It’s not just for pumping out content, get out there and engage.
  • Create a unique social post that quotes your influencer, the work they are doing and share their content. Again, be authentic, add your voice, and make sure to include their social handle this is how they see it.
  • Attend an event the influencer is at. Before waiting in line to have your 10 seconds, take advantage of Q&A time. Introduce yourself and ask a thoughtful question. You’ll stand out to the audience and be more memorable to the speaker.
  • If you have purchased a product from any of your influencers, leave a review. They need the good reviews still too.

So what came of the interactions I listed above? I felt really excited to be seen and heard, and to feel connected. Because social media interactions are mainly public, my social circles saw this. My influence level went up a notch. However results can be tangible as well. A very direct result from reaching out to influencers was that I became a published blogger, I have been invited as a speaker, I have gained clients and have built solid relationships from reaching out online. Best of all I truly expanded my social circle in a meaningful way.

So please, ask for what you want. Expect to receive it.

This post was first published on my HuffPost Blog.

I’m on Twitter and Facebook come say hi!

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Take Back Control From To-Do List Overload.

Did you know you can visualize your way to clarity in your business and marketing? Well, at least that’s what I do. It may help you too.

If you’re a busy entrepreneur suffering from distraction and the overwhelm that comes with it, you may want to read on.

 

Take back control from to-do list overload.

Each child in my daughters grade three class has created a bucket-filling book. This is where the children can write a special positive message to help fill each other’s buckets and day with positivity. I got to be first to write in my daughters book. I wrote her a little note to spread positivity and encouragement. It’s as contagious as that flu that’s been hitting the classrooms!

I love that throughout the year her class will practice daily lessons of positivity, and YES I’m all about keeping these kinds of buckets full.

In business, a different message of buckets came up. Multiple times I hear from so many that feeling of overwhelm. Especially, when it comes to the myriad of marketing tasks entrepreneurs have to consider. To do this I have to do that, and first before that, I must do this.

Give yourself permission to re-write that story of feeling overwhelmed.

If you’re feeling the weight of any project, it can help to compartmentalize tasks. I like to visualize buckets with each having an individual task (single puzzle piece) that supports reaching the bigger picture. You know, that beautiful end goal.

Doing this keeps my mind clear enough to produce my best work on each piece of the puzzle. I take back the focus and my control over distraction.

You can create a to-do flow in your journal, on a white board, in your online folder. Whatever suits you, and make sure that it does. I love pen to paper, but digitally Evernote has been my go to.

Here is a simple process you can use to create your marketing bucket system.

1.) MAP YOUR PROJECT OUT (THE BIG PICTURE)

Write it all down from the end goal to each daunting task you need to do to get there. Create a flow (the order of things). You’ll want to reverse engineer your way up to it (this is like retracing your steps from the finish line).

Scribble it all out. What’s important is that you get this out of your head and onto paper or the screen in front of you. You’ll have your big end goal prize in the bucket at the top of your flow, and now you can see building up to it, each smaller bucket with categorized puzzle pieces (tasks). This is a simplified approach that will help you stay focused. Eh hem, stay in one bucket at a time.

2.) BREAKING THE BIG TASKS DOWN IS THEY KEY

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From your map, you can now create a filing system with individual buckets leading you up to your win. One step at a time. 1+1+1 = WIN!

3.) DO ONE-THING AT A TIME

Work on your buckets one at a time. You’ll feel clear and feel the space you have for each task.

Try my visualization exercise below.

Find a quiet moment/spot. I invite you to visualize a task that feels too big.

In your mind visualize a bucket (your big job), inside are many smaller buckets. Each with only one task resting inside (break it down, what is the easiest thing you can do first?). Remember only one task in each bucket. There is so much space in this bucket for you to reach in and grab your task. No clutter.

Picture how easy it is to reach into this first bucket and pick up the task. You work on the task, completing it, you gently put it back into the bucket, done. Share your gratitude for the task, and for you being able to finish it. Picture yourself as you move to the next bucket. Take time to think about how you feel. Imagine as you work your way through all the buckets. Moving towards having a fully complete bucket. How do you feel as you reach the end goal?

Clarity. Organized. Ease.

First published on the HuffPost Blog.

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Book Review: White Hot Truth

I’ve been way more quiet than ever before. Have I been seeking some inner knowledge? Not really. I’ve been on auto-pilot, again. I don’t think I’m alone in this common trap.

However, I’m not thrilled that I fall into over and over again. Learning my lesson? I’m not too sure. It’s not necessarily about me (but that is for another post), but it is about me. I’ve been giving myself the space I need right now to be of service where I need to be. In caregiver mode – but let’s be clear there is a fine line between being a good caregiver and falling into martyrdom. The latter I am not, but that is not to say that sometimes I don’t recognize my efforts (or want to wallow in that feeling for a while). In this quiet period, I’ve started to feel less clarity, especially around purpose.

 

Lately I’ve chimed a mantra that I suspect has been out of tune. The mantra is “This isn’t about me”. “This isn’t about me, this isn’t about me, this isn’t about me.” Let me be clear. I’m figuring out I have that slightly wrong. Yes, there are things that aren’t about me. I need that boundary. I can be overly empathic and take things on way too personally. To respect those I love and care for, I also must separate my experience from theirs. And, there it is. That acceptance that I too have my own experience (truth) that is separate from those around me, and that I can, and I should acknowledge that. In that acceptance I find the real truth.

 

Clarity isn’t so cut and dry. It’s feels unbearable at times. Uncomfortable. Clarity is that knowing. Once you know, you know that you have always. Known.

 

Clarity creates the freedom to seek your truth. Clarity is the power of acknowledgement. Clarity is the chains of not turning your cheek any more. Clarity has no excuses. Clarity is light and heavy. Clarity is both dark and golden. Hiding under the covers and coming out for air. Clarity is the tunnel vision, eye on the prize, dancing in wonder. It’s forgetting the pains that it took to get to your truth. Because you’re here.

Danielle LaPortes book White Hot Truth came at just the right time. I shared my full review over at my HuffPost Blog

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Where Do All The Ideas Fit? Multi Passionate Entrepreneurs Feel The Pain.

This was a helpful conversation about offering multiple services/products – sometimes a client has a hard time wrapping their head around this one. This is a very easy way to think about it.

Think about your business like a house. All those ideas/services of yours are the rooms. You invite different people into the different rooms, the ones they may need, but not all of them all at once. Your business is the house. Your products and services are the rooms. 

This is what a business with diverse services is like. When you are a business owner or an entrepreneur exploring marketing options, business ideas, responding to market changes it’s easy to be pulled outside of that house. Come back to it. Build your strong foundation, and build onto it. Don’t build away from it – just develop its core. 

This particular Q was about focus and where to put your business energy when you have erm… a lot of it, and a lot of ideas.

Ideas are great and so are diverse services and products. Branding, clear messaging and internal guidelines hold these together.

I very much encourage new ideas. See where and how they fit in your home (erm… business).

I want to share 3 key things that help me stay on track when I instigate ideas and when I execute ideas.

  1. Brainstorm the heck out of the idea. Reframe, refine and then ignite.
  2. Catalogue the idea (have a process in place for brainstorming and planning) I like these apps coggle, evernote and my trusty microsoft office word/excel, maybe you prefer your sketch and note pad. Make sure you get it down, get it out of your head.
  3. Brand the idea/service. If your current brand is gaining traction, or has a good footing in the marketplace, use this. Brand under your current roof. This will help you with communicating and selling and staying in that brand recognition zone.  Another way to say this is “don’t recreate the wheel for every new idea”.

Have fun instigating your ideas and putting the great ones into play!

Build Supportive Business Networks

Business networking is more than going through the motions and showing up. I will assume you’ve heard the quote encouraging us that we could achieve 90% success rate just by doing that one thing. Could you imagine a room full of people who expect success for the mere reason of attending? Seems fairly mediocre to me. Should we assume that success will show up when we do?

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“99% of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The competition is thus fiercest for realistic goals.” – Tim Ferris

I’ll share with you 5 things to help you achieve business networking success so you can reach beyond the mediocre goal of simply showing up. Take responsibility for your goals and take action.

1.) Be at the right place at the right time.

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Accelerate your goals by planning ahead. Take time weeks before the meeting, lunch, conference or event and get clear. Why are you attending? What do you want to achieve? Whom do you want to meet? The more clearly you can articulate what you want and need the more likely you will take action towards those goals.

You need to be tough on yourself. Know exactly why you want to attend an event. No more just showing up. This helps you save time by avoiding events that aren’t suited to you.

Here is a little rule tool you can use. Fill in the blanks.

I am going to this event to_______________so that__________________.

2.) Meet the right people

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Now it’s up to you to step in and learn as much about the people you wish to have in your network. This is research that will support your goals. You can jump on Google and Social Media to do some digging. Research the person you want in your circle. Who are they connected to that you already know. Could you ask for an introduction? Do you have common threads (a business connection, a friend, or a philanthropic cause)? Common threads can be personal, maybe you found out you both love fishing, dogs or mountain climbing. Look for common ground that could be a great icebreaker and pave way for the introduction. Discover how you can support your desired contact. All great relationships stem from the heart.

3.) Hold yourself accountable.

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Keep tabs on your own activity. Know when you are moving forward. You have already outlined your goals, and articulated what you want and need. This is not about going in hungry and hunting. This is about softly checking in with yourself to see what you need to adjust over the next hour so you can make progress. Remember, the best networking happens before and after the event. You are simply making an introduction, connecting and extending a request to be in touch following the event (that is the permission you are looking for). Then let them be on their way so they can connect with their targets. Don’t hold your new connection up.

4.) Following up is not rocket science.

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However, it is the most forgotten, and procrastinated task. Often not regarded as a priority. Timing is everything. When should you be following up? Immediately. Do not delay your follow up! Remember if you connect with your target, strike up that conversation, get the business card and permission to follow up, they are expecting to hear from you. Don’t neglect that obligation. Do what you said you were going to do.

5.) Stay in your zone of authenticity.

Truly showing up means being present. Feel the environments, the energy the people bring, and pay attention to others body language as well as your own. Begin to see just how real everyone is. You won’t see the sparkle in someone’s eyes if you’re not looking.

Above all remember that whatever level of entrepreneur you are, you are valuable. It’s all in how you show up. Regardless of title, prestige, or level of success, everyone is human. This is how level playing fields are created at business networking events. Don’t go in hungry thinking “What can I get”, go in with the research to back your business networking activities, and more importantly with a mission of helping to support the people you aim to meet.

Enjoy the confidence planning ahead of time gives you, and the understanding that we can find common ground with just about everyone we meet.

I help entrepreneurs and individuals showcase and communicate brands. For me building supportive business networks is the key to success. This blog was originally posted at the HuffPost Blog.

How Bad Do You Want This?

Ugh, that word again. Mindset. Can we talk about it?

How many times have you made the plans, but they didn’t launch? Booked the party, but failed to fill the room? You have the list, but do you use it? Have you filled out that editorial calendar, but you know your not working it… really. When you show up, do you really show up?
You say YOU WANT THIS, but do you?
Here’s the thing. You ask me what piece of the puzzle is missing. You feel like you’ve done everything in marketing and nothing gives. I’m going to tell you the truth.
That big piece of the puzzle my friend is you.

Richard Branson says “The one person who can make your business succeed is not an investor, or mentor. It is you.”

I feel this statement wholeheartedly. It’s about shifting your mindset baby!
Do you ever find yourself saying, “This is the last shot, the final leg, something’s gotta give?”
You’re right! Actually, if you’re saying it, then it’s about to give. This is the feeling before the shift.
It’s like a tug-o-war between working (you think on all the right things), and wanting and waning, and then the shift.
Suddenly, you’ve shifted and you can feel the change. You start acknowledging the things you haven’t put your whole heart into. For whatever reason, some pieces of the puzzle have fallen to the side. It’s these puzzle pieces that begin to matter, and you start to pick them up one by one.
You know, all those things you’re supposed to do (but haven’t). Now, you seem to do them, with energy and understanding. These are usually the things you hate. The things you’ve left on your list until last. If you’re an introvert I bet you’ve got picking up the phone, meeting the potential client, and following up with someone on this list. You’ve been focusing on perfecting your thing, your work, your website even.
I’m going to tell you three things today that will help you drive this shift.
  • Forget the to-do lists Do not take the time to write it on a list. That thing you need to do could be done before you’ve taken the time to write it down on a list. Like the proverbial Nike “Just Do It”.
  • Forget the to don’t lists The things that you need to do, but continue to put aside? If it’s that bad for you get someone else to do it. Immediately. Hire a professional for whatever that thing is or take it off the plate all together. Ask yourself, is it important?
  • Every day take immediate action Every morning get up and make your splash, create the ripple that sets waves into motion for the week and months ahead. Make the call, send the letter, create that thing. Take action. This is when you shift from wanting and waning.
Okay, I know you work hard. Keep working hard. What can you take from this message? Could you find the part that resonates with you, and use it?

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