Monthly Archives

March 2014

A lesson in brevity

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Sometimes you can say more with fewer words.

Following is a recent post made by my friend, a middle school science teacher.

Student: “I’m going to miss class tomorrow, I have to go to a violin thing.”
Teacher: “Ok, thanks for telling me.”
Student: Starts to leave and turns back, “By the way, this is my favorite class and I’m going to be an engineer when I grow up.”
Teacher:  “Yes you are.”

Double black diamonds, anyone?

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Some people think I’m crazy because when I go on vacation, I don’t relax. I go. Hard. For instance, I like to go to the top of the mountain, feel the sun on my face, ski the double black diamonds and fall into bed exhausted at night (ok, maybe after a little wine too).

So what do double black diamonds have to do with business? A change of venue, change of pace and mindset in the great outdoors makes me more productive and creative in the long run. It releases the brain to think more broadly and makes me feel a sense of well-being. Here’s additional reading about the benefits of exercising outdoors.

My brain works hard at my job, but like most of you in business, I sit a lot. Not something I do well naturally, so when I feel a little burned out from thinking and sitting the best antidote to that is moving. And being in nature. Go to top of the mountain and your problems seem surmountable, or run or bike on the beach and look at the ocean – commune with nature, you’ll see.

It feels good to get outside and push yourself in different ways than you do in business, and test your limits. Even if you’re not that athletic, you can take a long walk or get on a bike and explore some new terrain. The fresh air and change will do you good, your ideas will flourish and you’ll sleep better than you ever have. I guarantee it.

Nulla Magna

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi vitae dui et nunc ornare vulputate non fringilla massa. Praesent sit amet erat sapien, auctor consectetur ligula. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed non ligula augue. Integer justo arcu, tempor eu venenatis non, sagittis nec lacus. Morbi vitae dui et nunc ornare vulputate non fringilla massa. Praesent sit amet erat sapien, auctor consectetur ligula.

LinkedIn – 17 Must-Have Features for your Profile

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Some time ago I decided to take a break from social media on a personal level.  As a non-digital native who gets plenty of screen time all day long, I was finding it increasingly harder to get engaged on my social networks during my down time.   What started as a short respite, soon turned into an extended leave of absence.  Let me apologize now for overlooked friend requests, dormant invitations to connect, missed party invitations, unacknowledged birthdays, and general lack of participation.

Don’t get me wrong. As a marketer, I understand the power and potential associated with social media on both a personal and business level.  Therefore, I pulled myself back into the loop.  As part of my renewed commitment, I decided to conduct some research to find the latest best practices for LinkedIn.  I found a good article on Entrepeneur.com that lists 17 must-have features for your LinkedIn profile in an easy to follow infographic.

I hope you will find this information helpful too, (click on the graphic to view larger):

1393271821-17-must-have-features-linkedin-profile-infographic

About Us – It’s Not All About You

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Many companies desperately need “a cleanup on aisle 13” – and that aisle is the “About Us” section on their website.  It seems the majority of these sections I read are vague, confusing, trite, jargon-filled diatribes that do little to inform the audience, establish credibility or spark interest in moving deeper into the site.

Your “About Us” should be honest, clear, descriptive and (gasp) interesting.  It should convey confidence and give a sense of your company’s personality.  Visitors are often comparing you to the competition so it’s critical you address your unique selling proposition.  And speaking of visitors, this section is most often read by first-timers to your site, so remember you’ve only got one shot at a first impression.  This is essentially a speed-date, so don’t be boring and unremarkable!

As with any marketing copy development, it’s important to put yourself in your readers’ shoes.  Make it relevant and leave them with a feeling of wanting more.  This may be as far as they get on your site, so you may want to include a call to action (company phone number, email, video link etc.).

Enough talk about “exceeding expectations” (duh), “striving for excellence” (I should hope so), or “creating solutions” (unless you are a chemist, I guess).  Get real, to the point and add some flavor beyond salt and pepper.  You’re asking for someone to consider a relationship with you.  Act accordingly.

Google Glass and Me

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I’m not someone who is normally considered an early adopter of new technology. Technology and I have a sort of mutual respect for each other, meaning we, (or more accurately, I) keep a respectable distance until new and technical becomes easy and less complicated,  mainstream with most of the bugs worked out. When Google Glass was announced, I took my typical “stay away from me” stance and could not imagine anything that I would ever want less in life than to walk around tethered to the internet day in and day out. Never. Ridiculous idea. Not to mention the obvious driving and zombielike walking issues. So, what happens when this tech-averse human finds herself unexpectedly at Google headquarters and some very excited, very nice Google Glass ambassador hands over a pair? WOW. To summarize my experience: it really is all that cool. It understands you and answers questions and commands in a manner that will make Siri pea green with envy. The itty bitty little screen up in the corner of your right eye is actually pretty easy to see and unless you lock onto it, or ‘glass-out’ in Google speak, it might not always impede your vision. moglasses My love affair was short lived as there were others waiting in line like school children eager to take their turn. Will I buy them? Not likely. But will I view them on others with the same disdain? Honestly, probably not as much. I can see now that they actually might have some purpose for some people, but the obvious human interaction problems will be hard to eliminate. Google has just put out a Google Glass Etiquette guide in an attempt to help users understand how to behave while wearing the Glass. It makes for some pretty hilarious reading with advice such as…’respect others who have questions about the Glass and don’t get snappy with them’ and ‘how to avoid being a glasshole.’ For more information, check out the Daily Beast.