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“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”  ~ Warren Buffett

You may or may not have visited my website enough to figure out that I have a new quote that is scheduled to post every week.  These are quotes that have inspired me or intrigued me or just ring true.  This particular quote kept ringing in my head this week.  You see, I consider myself a very patient and considerate person in my business as well as in my personal life. Generally, people treat me in kind. Last week I had a blip on my screen. Read more

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Suggested Reads – April 2015 – Online Presence

read about increasing online presence

Here are this month’s pick of 4 helpful articles to help you learn more about increasing the online presence of your business.

1: Why Your Business Must Embrace Social Media Yesterday

embrace-social-mediaThe beauty of social media, if done properly, is that you can be responsive, interact with customers in ways you had not envisioned, and build a community of supporters. Read more on Forbes.com

2: How Google Judges Quality and What You Should Do About It

google-judges-qualityEveryone likes to talk about content being king, and the importance of quality content. Quality applies to the site as a whole. It’s time that we truly understand what it means to have quality content. Read more by Neil Patel.

3:  9 Facebook Marketing Hacks: Tips & Tricks to Grow Your Audience

facebook-marketing-hackesThe best Facebook hacks that make managing your workflow and growing your audience a little less taxing. From organic to paid, here are the top tips and tricks from you and your peers. Read more on Sprout Social.

4: Latest Google Update – Mobile Optimization – Does Your Site Comply?

google mobile-optimizationThis newest algorithm update will hit websites that are not currently of the mobile friendly variety. In other words, if your website is not optimized for use across all mobile devices, you could find that your site will experience a serious drop in its rankings. Read more on Social Media Today.

I hope that you have found these articles about building your online presence useful. Visit my Scoop.it page to view over 100 articles on this very same topic. You may also enjoy the articles I am recommending this month on the topic of Empowering Entrepreneurs.  I look forward to sharing new pieces with you every month.

I would love to hear from you on any of these topics.  I hope you will contact me with your thoughts and comments.

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Know, Like, Trust

I recently sat in on a presentation by Dana D’Orsi, business & lifestyle coach, motivational speaker and the creator of The Savvy Success System™.  She gave us so much to think about in while speaking about “Yuck-Free Marketing”.

My main takeaway?  “You are in the business of marketing your business”.  She told us that right now, there are people who need us.  It is our duty to help them find us! Therefore, marketing is not what you do to sell your goods or services, it’s something you do FOR your potential clients.

This made me think harder about how much I believe that becoming the resource is THE KEY for increasing social media success. We will want to be constantly be on the lookout for great pieces to share that relate to our area of expertise.  We want to have a way to let people know that when they have a question about anything in our realm of interest, we would have some information to share with them that might help.

I recently read an article on one of MY favorite resources, Copyblogger.  The article,  30 Ways to Build the “Know, Like and Trust” Factor that Grows an Audience shares 10 ways to get known online, 10 ways to build likeability online, and 10 factors that build trust with your audience.

My favorite takeaways from this article:

Get Known:

  • Once you’ve identified who your audience will be (buyer persona), make sure to use content and engagement to position yourself as the authority in your niche
  • Build relationships with key influencers
  • Consider guest blogging

Build Likeability:

  • Be authentic and real with your unique voice
  • Become involved in two-way conversation
  • Share content and promote others.

Build Trust:

  • Be consistently relevant and good
  • Incorporate testimonials
  • Give away a free taste of some of our best stuff

When everything else is equal, people will do business with someone who they

These kinds of results do not come quickly, nor do they come easily for most. We need to make sure that we are consistently providing value, positioning ourselves as THE GO TO.

I would like to share that I have found it so much easier and more enjoyable to market my self since I changed my outlook.  I am certain that the services I provide ARE what small, local businesses are looking for.  I have decided that I will NOT treat all of my clients the same, but will partner with each one separately to provide unique and individual care tailored to their own needs.  Once I made that commitment to myself and to my clients, everything else has become so much more enjoyable and effective.

I challenge you to do the same.  Become the Resource.  There ARE people out there looking for YOU.

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Suggested Reads – March 2015 – Entrepreneurs

suggested reads for empowering entrepreneurs

Here are this month’s picks of helpful articles for empowering entrepreneurs.

1. 6 Reasons Why Authenticity is the Key to Success

authenticityAuthenticity means not acting like someone else, voicing your own truths. Don’t be pressured into decisions or judgments by outside influences. Trust your heart & gut instinct.
Read more on Addicted2Success. Read more

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Suggested Reads – February 2015 – Entrepreneurs

suggested reads for empowering entrepreneurs

Here are this month’s picks of helpful articles for empowering entrepreneurs.

1. The 3 Ways Entrepreneurs Fail at Personal Branding

personal branding mistakes - entrepreneursA strong personal brand will help your business, but it’s not always easy to do. Avoid these three mistakes to help ensure others know what you can contribute, and help pull you ahead of the competition.
Read more on Entrepreneur.

Read more

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Learning to Grow

So, I am two weeks into a six-week committment I have made for myself.  One hour a week, I am meeting with Kemi Sorinmade of the Growth Studio.  We are reviewing “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” as presented by John C. Maxwell.

write it down - make it happen

One thing that Kemi mentions over and over; “If you write it down, it is more likely to become a reality.  Just by writing it down, it seems to be internalized.” So, I have decided to blog about this experience. This is a tool to help me review and internalize the content I am ingesting at these meetings. Read more

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In which I answer “What do I think should be improved?”.

As I continue this challenge as a personal journey for self-actualization, I will focus on what I think should be improved in myself from a professional standpoint.  This could be uncomfortable, I suppose.  If I acknowledge that something should be improved, I will have to take ownership of actually improving it.  If I haven’t already addressed it, it’s probably something I didn’t really want to deal with anyway.

Hmmmm.  always improvement needed, in many areas, I suppose.  Which one will I own up to here?

I will go with time-management  My friend, Tamara Myles, has taught me that time-management is actually choice-management. She states that we all have exactly the same amount of time each day.  It’s how we choose to use our time that is the important thing. So, I will have to edit my statement to say that I probably should work on fine-tuning my choice-management.

I think I like to think that I am a wonderful multi-tasker.  Fact is, at the end of the day, I am not always exactly certain that I accomplished as much as I thought I would or should.  On the other hand, free-forming through my day does bring me to some interesting places.  I think it must be my constant quest for knowledge that brings me to so many different sources of information.  That’s probably how I ended up as a social media professional after all.  In addition to wanting to connect people to other people and their services, I want to know everything that’s going on – all of the time.

Again, in keeping with my intent for this exercise, I will set my intention to improving my choice management to result in better time management.  I believe that this will help me to feel in control of the direction that my work will take me.

time management

Thank you, #YourTurnChallengeSeth Godin and Winnie Kao. This challenge has been quite valuable to me so far.  Taking a few minutes each day to review where I am and where I want to be is helping me to set lasting intentions.

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Getting to My Turn


Second installment in the #YourTurnChallenge in which I answer “What is important to you?”

Disclaimer – As this is a website about building online presence, and about my professional work, and often, about my dog – please know that it is to be assumed that my family, friends and memories are of utmost importance to me.  They are just not what I discuss on this blog.

When I answer this Your Turn Challenge question this way today, it is because the Challenge has already started to make me think more clearly about my professional persona.  Yesterday, I wrote about my intention to work as who I absolutely am. I mentioned that talking things over with friends and strangers seemed to help clarify that intent.  But here’s where the deal was sealed.

It was Friday.  It had been over 3 weeks since I had spent any time at all on the trails with Kenai.  She had just experienced 3 weeks of a house full of visitors and of being tortured by rompings, teasing and razor-sharp teeth of her new puppy-sister, Stella, a 4 month old bloodhound pup. I had been thinking long and hard about which direction to take with my business. We were both overdue for a good long hike.

As we entered Borderland State Park at West Side Trail, I was thinking about the Your Turn Challenge I had just committed myself to do.  I had put it out there on Twitter, so I guess I was committed.

And there it was – My Turn.My Turn - #yourturnchallenge

This is the beginning of the path where I look up and realize how wise I was to lace up my Keen hiking boots, don the gloves and ear-warmers, grab the leash and head outside with Kenai. This is where I turn toward the next hour of clarity.

My Turn – where I realized that being who I absolutely am – where I can let go of others’ expectations and simply focus on what it is I do best and enjoy the most.

What is important to me?

It is important to me to keep a keen sense of self in which I am providing service, insight and wisdom to those with whom I partner.

kenai, black german shepherd dog, gsd. helping me on my challenge.It is very important to me to take walks in the woods with my dog.


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Transition and Intention


First installment in the #YourTurnChallenge in which I answer “Why am I doing the Your Turn Challenge?”.

I have always asserted that transition is a very subtle, but extremely compelling state of being.  I am not even referring to big transitions like buying a house or starting a new job. I think that even the small transitions are worthy of our attention.

At my house, December was a month filled with transitions.  I was blessed with so much household activity and energy.  Our annual latke making party resulted in 2 nights filled with family, friends and oniony, oily aromas. I was thrilled ( and I truly mean this when I say this) to have over 20 house guests stay over on the second latke eve.  My kids’ friends bring wonderful energy and creativity to Buttonwood Farm. A last-minute change of plans brought my eldest home from California to spend the last week of December with us. My home was full of energy and light.

As January approached, life settled back to normal. This was not necessarily a bad thing. Having the time to catch up on my professional reading, webinars, etc would seem like it was the right thing to do.  But I found that I was becoming more anxious.  I had feelings of self-doubt. I thought that, perhaps, I should be doing more – pushing more.  Comparing my self to others began to weaken my self-esteem and my own resolve.

I spent the first week or two in January talking with old friends, as well as folks I had just met, about this particular sense of coming to a path in my profession that was asking me to go one way or another. I found that by voicing my ideas, my concerns, my fears, I was able to gain a bit of clarity in to the direction that would guide me to the place where I am able to live, work and play as the person I truly am.  I was putting pressure on myself to do what others in the social media marketing field are doing in the form of self-promotion. I have come to the realization that the services that I offer as a personalized guide for increasing online presence are the essence of my professional self. I have made it my intention to be a teacher, a guide, for those small business owners who are passionate about their own work and would like to communicate their range of products and services on the internet. Teaching these folks to be a resource, to be able to identify and communicate their own personal brand, to share and engage

 I have made it my intention...

I will continue to create those symbiotic relationships with my clients in which we learn more about each other’s area of expertise and work within that knowledge to build up their empowerment while increasing their presence. In addition, once I have learned a good amount about their business, I will be better able to identify their challenges, and at that point have the insight as to which social media tasks they might consider outsourcing in order to continue their online growth while focusing on their own strengths and talents. I am committed to meeting my clients where they are, and sharing the next part of the path together.

Why am I doing the Your Turn Challenge?

I am doing the Your Turn Challenge as a week-long exercise to help me find clarity in my professional path, as well as to become more comfortable and prolific in my blogging.



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Your Personal Brand = Value – Visual – Voice -Variation

Personal BrandingThis was one of my favorite takeaways from the 10th annual Massachusetts Conference for Women.  The first panel presentation that I attended was entitled “Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success”.  The panel was moderated by Dan Schawbel, author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career

The panel members  were

1. Laura Darrah & Sheila Nazarian, co-founders, she + lo
2. Wendy Duncan, SVP, marketing, Alex and Ani
3. Shirley Leung, business columnist, The Boston Globe
4. Cindy Ratzlaff, social media strategist

The focus of the panel was to point out the very important fact that how people perceive you or your product is vital to success. As we all know, with the internet, social media and the constant pace of 24/7 business, it is more critical than ever that a person or a company brand and promote effectively. Your personal brand, product or service might be the most awesome on the face of this earth, but if customers can’t find the value – the unique value – they are unlikely to engage. This panel was designed to help the attendees promote themselves or their product to create a powerful message so that we would better stand out and succeed in our goals.

Laura Darrah began the session by making a point that what we may think as obvious, but may often get lost.  It is a lot easier to market a brand when you feel confident in the brand.

Shirley Leung, who spends her days writing and sometimes reporting on television, reminded us that in these days of the 2.7 second attention span, it is more important than ever to really hone our message.  She suggested that we watch a bunch of TEDtalks and really observe how the presenters have taken their wealth of information and manage to condense it down to the absolute most important, most salient points in order to get the intended message crystal clear to the listener.

Wendy Duncan’s message resonated loudly and clearly with me when she told us to “Be simple. Be conversational. Tell stories.”  People may or may not remember the facts about you or your product – your blah-blah-blah – But you can be pretty sure that they will remember a story that you have told that touches them.  The stories that people share around their bracelets has been a large part of the success of the Alex and Ani product line. Wendy pointed out that it is so very important to continue to write about the core values of the company or of your self.  Embrace and promote your mission and culture.

Cindy Ratzclaff’s message – the 4 V’s of personal branding –  really hit home with me.

 – Value:
The first question to ask your self is “What is my value?”  Your client wants to know “what’s in it for them?” Clearly identify exactly what you bring to the table

– Visual:
Have a great headshot.  Look straight at the camera and smile.  First impressions are critically important. Most often, someone is going to check you out online before they meet you. You want people to instantly trust you.

– Voice
Everything that you say and do should clearly identify your authentic self, your mission and your culture.

– Variation
This seemed to be the most important point. Identify what your unique variation is. There are probably many people who offer what you do – you must offer your own spin.

Read more

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Would You Mind Leaving Me a Review?

Not the easiest thing to ask – but it could just be one of the most useful tools you can implement when building online presence.  Think about it.  How often have you hired a service provider without obtaining at least one person’s opinion?  My guess is that you have not hired even one service provider without finding out a bit more about that person either through people you actually know, or through online reviews. It only makes sense that we want to know ahead of time if the person we intend to hire is easy to work with, knowledgeable in their field, reliable, shows up on time, completes the job at hand, provides value.online reviews build online presence

Asking clients for a review or a testimonial can be considered an integral part of your customer workflow.  You will find that your happiest clients will be only too happy to recommend you and your services, they might just need to be reminded to actually go ahead and write one.

It would be prudent to ask your client for the review shortly after finishing a project for them, or having completed a lengthy session. You will want the quality and the details of the care and expertise that you put into the experience to still resonate with the client. This will help them design the recommendation with pertinent details.

I, personally, would not recommend the use of a third-party tool to gather your reviews. How incredibly annoying it is to receive a ‘bot’ generated request for review from someone you have barely dealt with.  And it is even more annoying to keep getting reminders to send someone a recommendation.  Agh!  Turn that off!

So, what is the best way to request an online review of your product or service? Read more