How to Be A Better Blogger (Part 1)

The Guilt Pen

The Guilt Pen

This is the guilt pen. I forgot it at a client’s office one day, and when I came back, noticed it on her desk.

“How’s your blogging going?” I asked.

“Slow,” she replied. “I just can’t seem to sit down and do it. I’m more motivated when you’re here to push me.”

I noticed my pen there and picked it up and transformed it from a little pen into a powerful talisman.

“See this pen? This is my pen. I love my pens. But I am giving you this pen and every time you see it, you will think of me and you will sit down and do another blog post. And if you don’t, you will feel guilty because I gave you a pen that I love!”

I gave her the guilt pen before Christmas and when I returned to her office in mid-January, she was extremely proud to share with me 8 completed blog posts ready to be edited and scheduled!

The pen is indeed a mighty weapon.

Perhaps you need a guilt pen in your life? Maybe you know what you want to say but need a nudge to actually get the words out? Find one on your own or give me a call, I have lots of very powerful pens to share.

Gilda’s Club Name Change?

How do you feel about the imminent change starting in the Madison Gilda’s Club organization to the Cancer Support Community? To me, it feels a little like someone not interested in explaining their brand and instead choosing a name that is more SEO-friendly. But I could be wrong.

Language and word choice is very important to the folks at Gilda’s. I worked with them for many wonderful years when I was a full-time non-profit professional and remember when they shared with me the document that explained the very specific terminology they used in all Gilda’s Clubs programs. One big difference from my employer’s terminology was that folks at Gilda’s Club staff and volunteers avoided the phrase “battling cancer.” They didn’t like that phrase because a battle implied that someone might lose.

The official explanation is that young people don’t know who Gilda Radner was and they want as many people with cancer to find them and utilize their support services.

Here’s a comment from Lannia Stenz, Executive Director:

Like many of you, I have been a fan of Gilda and SNL throughout my life. However, Gilda’s Club Madison is part of a larger organization, the Cancer Support Community. After a great deal of discussion and deliberation our local board of directors chose to make the change for a number of key reasons:

1. In 2013 we are beginning the outreach process to offer education and support programs to outlying areas. Our service area is a 14-county region in SW Wisconsin. Our new name incorporates the entire region.
2. Our parent organization, Cancer Support Community is now the parent agency of all Gilda’s Clubs and Wellness Communities. As of this year, all of the Wellness Communities have changed their name to Cancer Support Community. Gilda’s Clubs across the county are beginning to follow their example.
3. There will be no new Gilda’s Clubs created in coming years because Gilda’s Club Worldwide is now Cancer Support Community.
4. By incorporating what we do into our name we are eliminating confusion and will be able to more effectively raise awareness about our programs.

Finally, although the name is changing, our mission remains the same. The spirit of Gilda’s Club will stay alive in the clubhouse. We have one goal: to ensure that all people affected by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.

It is my sincere hope that our community will continue to support our work through this challenging change and cheer on our efforts to provide emotional support, cancer education and hope to men, women and children who are impacted by cancer. As an organization we have a great deal to celebrate and we hope you will join us as we move forward.

Regards,
Lannia Stenz
Executive Director

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/health_med_fit/gilda-s-club-changing-name-as-fewer-know-namesake/article_0893171c-53c8-50bd-900f-6381aee41f71.html#ixzz2DZKDZ7Ii

 

 

Can You State Your Business Goals?

Start today. Thanks to Runkeeper.com for helping me track my progress towards my running goals!

Early in conversations with potential clients, I ask them to state their goals for me. If they can’t state a measurable goal, I encourage them to work it out and then come back and continue the conversation with me.

It’s not that I don’t want the business. I just don’t want a dissatisfied customer. And if my customer can’t state their goals – in an objective way so it’s obvious whether we’ve reached them or not – how can they ever be satisfied?

You’ve probably heard of “SMART” goals before. If not, here’s a little tutorial from Stanford University:

A SMART goal is:

Specific (and strategic):  Linked to position summary, departmental goals/mission, and/or overall School of Medicine goals and strategic plans.  Answers the question—Who? and What?

Measurable:  The success toward meeting the goal can be measured.  Answers the question—How?

Attainable:  Goals are realistic and can be achieved in a specific amount of time and are reasonable.

Relevant (results oriented):  The goals are aligned with current tasks and projects and focus in one defined area; include the expected result.

Time framed:  Goals have a clearly defined time-frame including a target or deadline date.

This is the perfect time of year to take a good chunk of time – not a fleeting moment – and state your business goals. And if you need a writer or social media coach to help achieve some of these goals, just ask!

Would Your Remove Skills from Your LinkedIn Profile?

Keep it current!

Sure you would – and should – if they don’t describe the kind of work you are doing and want to do. LinkedIn can be a fantastic resource for connecting with potential clients, resources and partners. A good review of your social media profiles is essential when you’re hoping to make the right kinds of connections and do your best by your customers.

Take a look at your own LinkedIn profile and make sure the skills you’re listing are exactly the ones you want to promote.

Even if you’re not seeking employment, LinkedIn can be a fabulous way to stay on top of industry trends, changes in corporate leadership, raging debates on current affairs and – my personal favorite – an excellent source of solutions for problems your business faces day to day. I use LinkedIn Answers at least twice a month to solve or problem or find a new way to complete an old task.

Another great resource available on LinkedIn is SlideShare that allows users to showcase their best presentations and attract the right kind of audience. My most recent upload has received 80 views in 4 weeks. It really showcases my perspective and brand. What presentation would convey your essential messages?

If LinkedIn isn’t one of your favorite social media sites, maybe it should be! Connect with me and grow your skill set!

 

 

How can knitting improve your writing?

Knitting, yarn

The more you practice, the better you get.

Knitting is an obvious metaphor for writing. Using your own two hands, you hold the needles and weave together a lovely fabric. You choose the yarn, you choose the pattern and you choose the end product.

Along the way, you encounter problems. You miss a stitch. Holes appear. Something goes wrong.

You have choices in knitting – you can back up and correct the problem or you can plow ahead and accept the finished product with all it’s flaws. When you choose to go back the awful feeling that you might never finish the project looms over your shoulder. Plowing ahead means you might feel embarassed to show your imperfect work to others.

Luckily, writing isn’t exactly like knitting. When you write, you can lay words to paper, plow ahead and then go back and make the edits and corrections you need. But even the best of writers needs an experienced editor to look over their work.

Have you recently completed an incredible piece of writing? Do you need a skillful editor to find the holes, the places where you left a stitch unworked? Give me a call and give you work the attention it deserves, so you can be proud to show off your finished product!

Word Choice is Key

If you don't know what this means, better ask a local.

The language and words we choose show if we’re locals or tourists – and if we know what we’re talking about.

When you visit New York City, you want to go to “the Hi Line” not “Hi Line Park.” And if you’re looking for good Cuban food you ask the taxi driver to take you to Broadway and Houston- but you pronounce it “How-ston.” Then you’re speaking like a local.

When you visit Pittsburgh, don’t be offended if you someone mentions that you’re not a Yinzer but do be offended if someone in Cork, Ireland calls you a langer.

When you’re looking for someone to write your copy – whether it’s for the web, ads, brochures or a simple customer letter – make sure you’re using a writer who knows how to speak the vernacular. Give me a call and let’s talk about the language your customers will understand best.

Do you have trouble focusing?

In a two-hour delay at LaGuardia, I wrote up a 400-word interview, 2 blog posts for my business and one for my personal blog. I had a little trouble focusing because I was worried about my toddler who was rushed to the hospital earlier that morning due to an asthma flare-up. But if you have trouble focusing on your writing day to day, if you struggle to find the right words, and you just don’t know how to get started, you probably need a professional writer who can focus and deliver under any circumstances. Give me a call, let me see how I can help!

Does Your Business Need a Social Media Coach?

I work out a lot – for fun, for stress relief, and because it’s in my nature to set and strive to achieve goals. To help

Work Hard for the Results You Want

me reach these fitness goals, I hired a coach. Having a coach gives me accountability and someone to help me overcome obstacles and celebrate my successes.

For my clients, I’m their social media coach. I don’t always write all their content – many times I’m just laying out their editorial calendar (training schedule) and teaching them how and when to use new platforms (workouts).

But my own training hit a bump in the road when my coach accepted a new job in another state. Now I am meeting her replacement and I have to bring her up to speed on my goals, my philosophy, my strengths, weaknesses, what I’m afraid to try and what motivates me. The good part is – I know what I want her to know.

I try to help my customers with the same thing. One thing I offer my customers is the creation of a social media policy or guidelines. I know there will come a time when I need to move on or they decide to take over these tasks in-house. By working with my customers to build a social media policy, my goal is to make the transition and education of their new social media manager as simple as possible. I can’t make it seamless, but I can give them a sense of history of what customers have hated and what they’ve loved, what we’ve tried (and where we’ve failed) and the overall goals all of this creative work!

News – Now offering professional editing

Sweet Tooth Communications, LLC is proud to announce a new partnership with the Women’s Independent Press! If you have an editing, ghostwriting, publishing or book promotion projects contact the Women’s Independent Press for more information.

Women’s Independent Press/ Women’s Yellow Pages
P.O. Box 9687 Pittsburgh, PA 15226
412-563-6712
wip@fastmail.fm