Author Archives: cwcc

Member Book Review: Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

By Lori Dubois, Owner of Marketing Troubadour and CWCC Member

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Book Review: Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action 
By Simon Sinek

If you’ve been feeling like you need something to inspire your marketing and your business, start by reading “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. Sinek talks a lot about inspiration through a different way of thinking than the norm. His simple model goes like this: all business owners know what they do, some know how they do it, but many don’t know why they do it. He boldly claims that “people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” This model (he calls it The Golden Circle) is explained in a way that makes a lot of sense, including comparing it to the different parts of our brain, the limbic brain and the neocortex, proving that “gut decisions” are really made in our brains, not our stomach.

Don’t let the science fool you, though. This book is full of real-life stories about people and businesses who do, and did, things well. Sinek uses Southwest Airlines, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Apple, Costco, the Wright brothers, and others to illustrate that your WHY inspires people and makes them want to follow you, do business with you, and be part of your ‘club’. Your WHY enables you to connect with people who believe what you believe, which is how movements begin, companies flourish, and empires are built (OK, that is from me, not him). Perhaps this sounds a little dramatic, but we all want to be part of something we believe in. Sinek also includes examples of companies who made blunders when they tried things that people perceived did not align with their WHY.

Judging from the title and subtitle of this book, is it really about leadership or is it about marketing? If you think about it, aren’t they the same thing? Pick up a copy and start reading today. Sinek conveys solid knowledge in an inspirational and storytelling manner, teaching you something without reading like an academic text. I bet you will feel inspired to discover or refine your own WHY after these 200 pages are finished. In addition, watch Sinek’s TED talk on the same topic—over eighteen million people can’t be wrong.

About Lori
Lori Dubois is the owner of Marketing Troubadour, a marketing and branding firm focused on growing businesses through market, message, and methods. She uses storytelling as a tool for organizations to understand and communicate their WHY so they can attract the right people to grow and thrive. Her 25+ years of experience in marketing and advertising, combined with a Master’s Degree focusing on research and knowledge management, led Lori to found Dubois Information in 2008. Five years later, she changed the firm’s name to Marketing Troubadour to reflect the real-life, hands-on relationship she has with clients in helping them with their branding and marketing objectives. She is passionate about storytelling as a highly effective way to increase marketing effectiveness. In addition to developing and implementing messaging and marketing communication methods, Lori is a speaker and author on all things marketing and branding related, and has served on boards of two not-for-profit organizations.

You can contact Lori at lori@marketingtroubadour.com or visit her website at marketingtroubadour.com

Networking – Love it or leave it – Some tips on how to love it!

By Rosalie Chamberlain, Owner, Rosalie Chamberlain Consulting & Coaching
and CWCC Member

RCC Logo Mark

We all know that networking is an important part of business. Whether you are in an organization or a business owner, networking is a critical factor that cannot be ignored.  It’s all about relationship and relationship building.

For some, it is a piece of cake and for others, it is often dreaded.  One way to help networking feel less daunting is to have the mindset that it is really all about the other person.  It is not about you.  If you are focused on what you want to say or what you need to accomplish, the focus is on you and it can get in the way.  Change the way you do it.  It is about making a connection with the other person.  Make it about building relationships, meeting new people, getting to know one another. Not about what I can do for you or what you can do for me. Be genuinely interested in the other – be authentic.  Step outside of yourself and focus on them. Think about how you feel when someone is genuinely interested in you.

It is about building relationships – not selling. Take the “I have to sell” piece out of the equation and just be interested in the other person. Find something interesting about them. Make a connection and follow up. (BTW, LinkedIn is a great way to do a first step follow-up.) When you are letting go of any preconceived goal or strategy that you have to accomplish some business goal and let your strategy be “meet and greet”, the pressure is relieved and a potential relationship can build.  Who knows what can follow. Once the relationship has begun, you and the other person will learn what business services and opportunities exist.

Try imagining or visualizing yourself successfully connecting and feel how it would be after having met someone interesting and you have had a great conversation. You may be stepping out of your comfort zone, so think of when you have been comfortable in other situations and bring that to the current situation.

And, of course, the art of building self-awareness comes into play. Be aware of whether the little voice inside has decided if someone is approachable or if they are someone with whom you can connect. Awareness of your thoughts, beliefs and following behaviors is a key factor. I suggest thanking the little voice for sharing and put it aside, so you can go forward and meet the other person, make it about them.  After all, it is all about connecting and building relationships.

Think about some of the business relationships you currently enjoy and how they came about. We’d love to hear your stories of how connection was made and once it was, how easy the relationship continued to grow.

 

About Rosalie 
Rosalie is an Executive, Leadership and Professional and Personal Development Coach with 14-years of experience working with individuals and teams, both inside and outside of corporate environments. Rosalie works with organizations and individuals to identify behaviors that motivate, inspire and create, as well as those that block creativity and performance.

Rosalie’s clients achieve high quality results by aligning talent, strengths and energy to organizational and personal goals. She helps organizations become employers of choice by leveraging the talents and strengths of their employees.  She helps individuals take charge of their careers.

Her unique executive experience as the Diversity & Inclusion Manager at the AmLaw 200 firm of Alston & Bird LLP, 15 consecutive years on FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”, provided opportunity to work with leadership on organizational strategies that enhanced the collaborative potential of professionals, thus providing an inclusive environment for success. She works with a range of clients in the legal, government and private industries.

Rosalie started Successful Life Coaching www.successfullifecoaching.net and Rosalie Chamberlain Consulting & Coaching www.rosaliechamberlainconsulting.com to help organizations and individuals achieve high levels of success.  She works with organizations to develop best practices to be an employer of choice and with professionals to be able to experience a fulfilling life and career.

Areas of coaching expertise include:

  • Executive
  • Leadership
  • Professional  Development
  • Personal Development
  • Life Transitions

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Entrepreneurial Journey ~ Enjoy the Process

By Terri Mongait, EGC, Begin Again Ranch and CWCC Member

Begin Again Ranch LogoAs we know, starting a business of your own takes risk and courage.  As a small business owner I have realized that I have taken risks my whole life.  In my early thirties I left everything and everyone I knew (including my boyfriend) and moved across the country to California.  (Yes he did follow me and we have been happily married for 21 years).  Just a few years ago I left the corporate world, pursued and received my certification as an Equine Gestalt Coach, moved us again to 6 beautiful acres in Colorado and started my own Equine Assisted Coaching business.

As we know, you don’t just start a business and immediately you are successful, at least not for most of us.  My biggest hurdle has been the need to educate the public on what I do.  I attend as many trade/health shows as I can.  I am in 3 different Chamber Leads groups and I speak whenever invited.  Making your business successful takes passion, courage, tenacity and commitment.  Every single day do something that benefits your business.  For me, right now that means getting consistent with posting on social media.  It does not mean that I must post, tweet, update my status every day.  I have attended many social media classes and am now seeing which one speaks to my business best.  Currently that is Google +.  Research shows that Google+ is the up and comer for business social media.  I am updating my profile, and posting least once a week.  I also recommend using www.KeywordSpy.com. This site helps you determine what the best key words in your industry are to enhance your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Another great tool if you are looking to create a logo is to use www.logotournament.com  I just completed my contest and received over 100 logo designs from all over the world.  You put up a monetary prize, receive new submissions, and rank them over a few days.  You can even work with your top favorites designers to tweak their submissions and when you pick the winner you own the rights to the winning rendering.  My winning designer was from Indonesia.

In my business, I also have the added “challenge” of recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) 5 years ago.  I have not let my occasional processing glitches stop me.  I have surrounded myself with supportive family, friends and colleagues.  And for me, TBI stands for To Be Inspirational.  Enjoy your journey.  Smile a lot!  Be passionate and love life.

 

About Terri Mongait
Terri Mongait, EGC is a Transitions Life Coach and offers Equine Assisted Counseling at Begin Again Ranch® in Sedalia, CO.  Partnering with her horses, she takes her clients from merely surviving to joyfully thriving.  She will help you identify, accept and overcome the obstacles on your life’s journey.  Terri and the horses give everyone experiencing a life transition the opportunity to achieve a full life through equine interaction and coaching.  She also works with small businesses and offers full and half day Team Building experiences.  Let her help you and your team work better together and reach new heights.  You can reach Terri at 909-489-9654, terri@beginagainranch.comwww.beginagainranch.com

 

 

 

Digital Marketing Tips and Tricks for the New Business

By Joyce Feustel, Founder of Boomers’ Social Media Tutor, and CWCC Member

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One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs is effectively marketing their business in the digital world. Barriers often include limited financial resources, limited time, and limited knowledge.

Some digital marketing tools, like a website, will likely cost money unless the business owner has the skills to design his or her website. However, there are many low cost and even no-cost digital marketing options.

Company Blog

One of the best no-cost (other than the value of your time) approaches to building a strong presence in cyberspace is to blog on a regular basis. It is recommended to have your blog be part of your website to increase your search engine optimization (SEO) results.

Blogging at least twice a month is necessary if you want people remember that you exist, and blogging weekly or even more often is even better – if you can keep it up consistently. Blog posts can range in length from around 250 words to over 1,500 words, with the length depending in part on your audience.

You can use your blog to help your customers solve a problem, learn about a new trend, explore a new idea, or open a discussion about something new happening in the field. However, it’s important to remember that blog posts can be entertaining as well as informative.

Every blogger needs to find his or her (or his or her company’s) “voice” and style, both of which will evolve with time and experience.

Social Media Sites

Before creating a social media site for your new business, research what your competitors are doing on social media. Ask your customers which sites they tend to use.

At a minimum, create a profile on the professional social site www.linkedin.com. Doing so will help you to create a personal and professional brand. Plus this site is a tremendous platform for connecting with colleagues in your industry and also with power partners who are likely to refer you business.

Then, depending on the results of your research with competitors and clients, consider creating using any of these free digital marketing options:

  • Facebook Business Page
  • Facebook Group
  • Pinterest Business Account
  • LinkedIn Company Page
  • Twitter Account
  • Google+ Personal and Company Pages

It is best to start with just one or two social media sites and become familiar with using them for marketing your business. Maintain a regular presence on these sites through your postings and your communication with others.

Conclusion

To help your new business be successful, you need to market your business. Considering free marketing tools such as blogging and selected social media sites to help you reach your potential customers and stay in touch with your current customers.

 

About Joyce
Joyce Feustel, Founder of Boomers’ Social Media Tutor, helps people, especially those age 50 and up, to become more comfortable using social media, especially Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.

She works with business owners, nonprofit organizations, retired people, consultants, and many others. Find her at www.boomerssocialmediatutor.com.

 

 

Five Tips for Drafting A Crisis Communication Plan

By Ramonna Robinson, President of GroundFloor Media and CWCC Member

GFM LogoThe PR team for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling recently learned the value of having a crisis communication plan that includes a variety of potentially damaging scenarios.

Many boiling issues can become a full-blown crisis, yet some can be mitigated with a thoughtful and immediate response. Undoubtedly, how they are handled can define an organization’s future.

While the Sterling scenario, one in which a private voicemail laden with racist comments from Sterling became public, was probably never one of the scenarios included in a crisis plan, we can use this opportunity to dust off our crisis plans and make sure they are up to date. If you don’t have a plan, here are some crisis communication and issues management tips to consider ahead of time:

  1. Create a crisis communication plan that includes scenarios, sample messages and a response plan. Revisit it at least annually, and update sections that are likely to change, such as the potential crisis scenarios and members of the crisis communication team.
  2. Develop a social media policy, and share it regularly with your employees. All too often what an employee believes to be an innocuous remark on social media can come back to harm a company’s reputation.
  3. Train staff on how to respond to a crisis or issue at hand and provide them with media and message training.
  4. Be proactive and hire an agency or outside consultant—even if they don’t execute, their strategic counsel and outside perspective on the issue can be invaluable.
  5. Learn from your mistakes and understand that trying to cover up the truth instead of making real reforms will continue to harm a company’s reputation over the long term.

In the case of Donald Sterling, it’s definitely a good reminder that what you say can and (likely) will be used against you. If you haven’t already, add voicemail to the list of things to be very cautions on.

 

Watch What I Post – Social Media Tips

By Susan Allard, Audience Development Account Executive, Denver Business Journal and CWCC Member

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Using social media has been fun, especially working for a news agency. I get to create opportunities for friends, business connections and followers to learn about interesting people and the companies I work for. But how do I get people to see what I’m posting?

Making yourself stand out from the others is the most important thing you can do. A few tips:

1)      Be authentic. First time you are posting a particular message? Give it a great introduction or shout out. If you are sharing something you’ve read or seen, don’t just copy, retweet or share the link. Add your own personal touch to the message.

2)      Include other organizations or people in your post that could benefit from the information and help get the word out. Use hashtags (#) and tags. For example, on Twitter: @cowomenschamber #women #smallbiz. Find key people or businesses mentioned in the article, then locate their twitter handles, use a current hashtag, or even make one up. The more you do this, the better potential for your post to go viral and help you build followers.

3)      Include a picture. It can tell the story faster and get the follower to engage quicker. (Plus, using photos gets an increased share rate of 20-25 percent, according to social media analytics website Klout).

4)      Repost your content, especially on Twitter. There are so many feeds going through accounts, it is easy for others to miss your message. Engagement happens more often if you get important content out frequently.

5)      Track what works and what doesn’t. Most social media sites have analytics, enabling you to look at what gets the most traction.

6)      Be positive. No one likes a “negative Nelly.” Firestorms happen too easily on social media – be the change.

7)      Have fun! This is a great opportunity for people to get to know who you are and what you believe in.


About Susan Allard

Susan Allard is an Audience Development Account Executive at the Denver Business Journal, master networker and strategic connector. You can email her at sallard@bizjournals.com, find her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter, @susandbj.

 

 

Three Cs + Flexibility = Successful Social Strategy

By Kaitlyn Viater, Social Media Strategist at Linhart Public Relations and
CWCC Member

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Social media continues to evolve with fresh functionality, updated analytics, and new ways to connect with friends, family and brands. It can be challenging to keep up with the ever-changing landscape and what may work one day, doesn’t work the next. So how can you develop a successful social strategy for your organization no matter the changes, channel and community? In addition to trial and error, there are three tactics I believe work for all channels: consistency, creativity and community.

Consistency
Frequency matters, for both the user experience and the algorithms that determine what users see online. In a nutshell: Increased activity will increase results. Posting consistent content will better ensure your posts are being seen, thereby giving fans more opportunities to be exposed to your organization. Additionally, it allows you to share your perspectives or share other meaningful information in more ways and more often. Telling and building a brand story through your content provides a complete picture of who you are and what you do.

Creative/Compelling Content
Content creation may be the most difficult part of social media, but it is also among the most important. Creating interesting and original posts that your customers want to read is key to connecting with and creating brand advocates. A good gut check for your content is yourself. Social content should be something you would want to read and share with your friends and family. If not, why would others want to like it, tweet it or pin it? Compelling content will allow you to capture customers’ attention and expose audiences to your brand and products or services. Creative content will differentiate you and give fans a reason to follow your page and engage with your brand.

Community
Knowing and understanding your community will allow you to best connect and communicate with them. Building an audience takes time and continual effort. Using a variety of organic and paid tactics (personal engagement, targeted campaigns, online advertising, etc.) to continually grow your audience and engage key demographics will help maintain a strong community. Once you learn what resonates with your fan base, continue to utilize and optimize those tactics to keep their interests’ piqued.

In addition to these three Cs, being flexible and understanding some things will work and some things will fail will allow the best (and most sane) social media strategy. Tapping into internal resources that are creative, communicating with your fan base, and continuing to learn and grow with social media channels will contribute to a successful strategy.

Can you guess how many words begin with the letter “C” in this blog post?

 
About Kaitlyn Viater
After years in New York City’s fast-paced, high energy, and ever-changing digital industry, Kaitlyn made the transition from the concrete jungle to the mile high city. As the digital strategist at Linhart PR, Kaitlyn focuses on helping clients enhance their online presence through social media, website best practices, email marketing, and more. From social media strategy and activation to community/channel development and management to content creation, Linhart PR shares their digital know-how to build online programs that forge meaningful interactions with target audiences.