Focus! Focus! Focus! I Call Bullshit on Focus!

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Seriously, I call bullshit on focus especially if you are a creative spirit like me.  Let’s think about this here.  I believe that focus is the main issue behind writer’s block.  Think of every image you have ever seen when someone is experiencing writer’s block and what are they doing?  They are in a room with no windows, in front of a typewriter (years ago) or a computer (now) and the look on their faces is of sheer terror because they are stuck.  Their brain has died.  Nothing is being transmitted from their neurons to their nerve pathways that get their fingers typing.  Where is their focus now, it’s obliterated by frustration.

If there is such a thing as reincarnation then this is me 150 years ago.

If there is such a thing as reincarnation then this is me 150 years ago.

I call bullshit on focus.

I recently started a podcast show category called “Less Than 5” and I quickly give my feelings, share advice, talk, ramble, whatever in less than 5 minutes and it is knocking my show stats out of the park.  The first two weeks I felt like a blithering idiot.  Who would ever want to listen to what I have to say?  And where was I going to get new topics?

Fortunately I have been bombarded with a plethora of different topics, heck I just have to turn on the TV and a topic shows up.  I just let it in.

Why I’m calling bullshit on focus!

Last week I realized that some of the greatest people I have ever met is due to the fact that I lost focus and went in a different direction.  I was on a business cruise in November.  Business cruises come with a higher than normal cruise price tag.  Yet I found myself drawn to an art class that was being given across the hall from our meeting room.  I could smell the paint and that disturbed my focus and fired up my curiousity.

That distraction inspired me to start writing a book, and certainly not about marketing.  There are plenty of those written by bigger thought leaders than I am.  No, I am writing a book about happiness.  How did the smell of paint inspire me to write a book, you ask?  It didn’t.  We took a land excursion and we were at Dunn River Falls and that is where I met the artist.  We held hands at the base of the falls so we wouldn’t fall down as the water rushed past us.  We bonded creatively and spiritually.

Her art is beautiful, she is very creative, and we were meant to meet.  If I was always “in focus” I would not have met her, and that book idea would not have been born.

I get distracted easily, but sometimes I believe I am driven by an inner spirit to push focus aside and jump out of that intensity and land in the field of distraction where very exciting ideas happen.

There are people who should be in focus – I don’t call bullshit on doctors, accountants, attorneys, and people who practice in life with other’s lives.  I practice in life with other’s minds and emotions, and I can call bullshit on focus because doing this won’t hurt anyone.

My parents called me “flighty”.  My teachers wrote not so nice comments about me in my report cards because I did not pay attention ALL the time.  I got so good at my talent of entering into the distracted zone that I could listen to two conversations at the same time and give appropriate answers or comments when called upon.

I highly encourage anyone with a creative mind to allow distractions to happen.  Get up and move away from what you are working on and forget about it while you allow your senses to take flight and you begin to explore the world around you.  This is where creation will start and when you come back to what you are working on your mind/ brain will be over-flowing with new ideas.  Write them down quickly, don’t lose them.

Think of it as focus recess and go out there and play.

 

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Trusting Your Inner Voice

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Trusting your inner voice isn’t easy for many people because at times that pain-in-the-butt little voice comes up with ideas that just sound too bizarre.  I call these the voices from left field.  I listen to them, but then I have been called bizarre at times.

I usually jump in with both feet when my inner voice comes up with something, and fortunately, I must have a string of guardian angels that have my back because I land on my feet every time.

You see I trust my inner voice and that is why I land on my feet while others belly flop instead.

I have come to rely on my inner voice so much that even when it might throw me a curve ball instead of a home run idea, I still can crawl into bed and sleep soundly. I don’t ruminate over things because I learned to trust my inner voice.

By now isn’t it time to learn to trust your inner voice?  You already have everything you need inside yourself.  That same inner voice has guided you through things in the past, right?  So when it comes pouncing in like a kitten at play with an idea that is so far out of the way you normally think, what the heck are you telling it to shut up for, when it might be the best idea ever?

Next time try to listen, then think it through.  Put it on paper, have faith, learn to start to trust, because let me tell you this; landing on your feet beats a belly flop every time.

Cute kitten right?

Kitten Pounce

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Content is King So How’s That Working for You?

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Content is king but showing your work might be better.

Content is king but showing your work might be better.

Content is king so how’s that working for you?  Content is king, there is no doubt about it.  Great content can even beat up SEO.  It takes work and not everyone can write great content.  Are you wearing a content crown? No?  Well, let’s dig in then because if you are reading this it’s not working for you, or it could work better.

When I sit down to write I often have moments where I feel as if the pause button has been pushed in my brain.  I rarely get writer’s block but I do at times feel like everything is paused or at least, running in slow motion.

I cannot sit at my computer and create all day.  I get brain fog doing this, so I set out to find a way around this and still get everything done that I need to get done.

I looked at what other creative minds are doing and I read a lot of articles and came up with my way of making the process work.

I created an analog workspace.  I have this big white board (and I do mean big) and this is where I list all my projects.  Every project has projects too.  It hangs in an extra room in our house and I go in there in the morning and then on and off again all day.  I have a standing “desk” (actually more of a platform) and this is where I have all my markers, paper, pencils, and postie notes.  I DO NOT SIT.  Standing is paramount to me in creativity.  I walk around that room, I pause, I think and I create.  Ideas are sometimes perched on the platform waiting for me, and other times they appear as I move around.  There is no device or computer in this room, that would be a distraction.

One thing I know for sure is this; you have to move away from your computer to create.  There are other ways of doing this.  You can take a walk, listen to music, meditate, or stare out a window.   All of these are analog ways of creating ideas and ideas become your work.

What comes next is that I now have something to put on all my social media platforms.  That is what I do next; I show my work.  Show your work everywhere you can because this is how people will find you. How?  While you are in your analog space write about it, take a photograph of it, record a video, sing it, shout it out, whatever it takes, just show your work and surround it with some great descriptive words.  You don’t have to write paragraphs, no one will read them.  Just be you but with a little pizazz.

Here is a tip too – schedule specific work for specific days of the week.

I am currently working on a project I named #CycleofJoy.  I registered the hashtag – did you know you can do that?  I bought the domain and on Tuesday morning, I create a photo quote that includes my name and my hashtag.  (Yes, I use copyright free photos – very important to do that).  I post the photo quote on my Facebook page but I also post it as a blog post on my personal blog http://isusrviveddamnneareverything.com 

#CycleofJoy has it’s own category there and my friends remember this,  a blog post can be as simple as a photograph with a couple of words.

My blog site then puts it out everywhere for me – I don’t have to do anything else.

Here is another way I show my work:

I have a podcast and because of the interest my show is generating I have many interviews and ideas scheduled already through Sept, 2016.  I decided this weekend to start to have two shows a week go live.  Every time I take a show live I am showing my work.  It shows in 3 places on Facebook, 2 Twitter sites, on LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and more.  Not only that, my podcast website continually cycles old shows through Twitter automatically so my work is being shown many times a day.

I was sitting and staring at my white board one day when the idea came to me that I could/should do a marketing tip/idea/suggestion Monday through Friday so beginning February 1st I will have a new category called Less Than 5 Minute Marketing Moments and you know what happens next, right?  It goes out everywhere.  I am showing my work more.

Always use every avenue available to you especially if you blog.  Put your blog everywhere you can.

One last piece of advice before I go digital on everyone.  Announce what you are doing that day on your social media platforms every day.  This is another way of at least getting some eyeballs on what you have planned.  I close those statements with “I will post my (whatever) later today.”  Start the later in the day post with “Here is what I have been working on today……”

See how this works?

Once I have filled my brain in my analog place, I head to my digital place, my desk.  This is where all those wonderful creative ideas become real.

Analog/Digital by my definition:  analog is me the human – a human in motion.  Digital is anything on a device or computer; it needs a human to make it work but the analog comes first in my work cycle.

When I need a break or an idea pops up I return to my analog space.

This also gets me out of my chair and moving around too which is good for everything else.

There you have it – and all wrapped up into 3 simple words; show your work. 4 more words, get off your ass.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with showing your work, just keep the bragging out of it.  Be humble, be authentic, be honest.  People do business with people they know, like and trust.  This is what you are aiming for and while people will always remind you content is king, showing your work is a sweet way to be sending content.

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Social Media Real Time Counter

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Carole here – and one day I received an email from Zuzana Padychova asking me to look at her Infographic.  I did, I liked it, the link is at the end of this blog post.  It is truly interesting.  She designed a social media real time counter.

Social Media Is Growing Exponentially, Now You Can See This In Real Time

Guest Blog Post by:  Zuzana Padychova

 

Remember when if you had a phone it had to be connected to the wall? Some of us even sent handwritten letters, even though it was perhaps a novelty by then. Today our iPhones and Samsung Galaxies are so “smart” there are numerous ways communicate with other people from the single device. Call, text, instant message. Currently leading the pack is social media. Not only can we communicate with close friends, but also people from all over the world.

 

Data from the Pew Research Center reveals that over 70% of internet using American adults are active on social media. Facebook is still the most used platform and back on August 25, 2015, an astonishing 1 in 7 people on the entire planet logged on to check their walls or post an update.

 

From sharing photos of your friends partying, to sourcing the mainstream news networks with stories, to even fomenting multiple revolutions across the world – it’s fair to say that social media is taking the world by storm, and there’s no sign of it slowing down now that even the poorest regions of the world are getting online.

 

To really comprehend these statistics however it’s worth looking at them visually. That’s just what the new Social Media In Real Time counter has accomplished. The animated infographic displays all the key growth metrics from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and LinkedIn.

Simply load the page and you will see a ticking clock and a widget for each site, allowing you to view the exponential growth of social media before your eyes. Want to know how many friend requests were sent on Facebook in 30 seconds? Now you can!

 

50,010 to be precise, though we can’t tell how many were actually accepted. The most common thing Facebook users do however is update their status. In the same time 146,490 updates were made, 24,990 of which were shared links. There were also 68,010 photos uploaded, and 75,000 instant messages sent.

 

If you don’t want to wait for the real time counter to reach a high number, you can also jump to statistics for an hour, day, month and year. There are a whopping 500 million Tweets posted in the average day, and 196 million photos uploaded to Facebook. Perhaps the biggest number is the 4 billion views a day for YouTube.

 

Other 1 Day Observations

– Twitter has less overall users but those users make more Tweets than the larger group of Facebook users make status updates.

 

– More photos are uploaded on Facebook that Instagram, even though Instagram is based around photos.

 

– Despite having far less users, Google Plus is growing at a rate faster than Facebook.

 

– The music video for Adele’s new single “Hello” garnered an extra 20 million views on YouTube, bringing the total to over 554.8 million.

 

– An extra 38,888 people followed Katy Perry on Twitter, bringing her total to over 78.3 million.

 

 

Want to see some other mind boggling statistics? Hop over to the Social Media in Real Time counter today!

http://www.coupofy.com/social-media-in-realtime/

Thanks so much Zuzana – clever young lady isn’t she?

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What I Learned from Ricky Gervais

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What I learned from Ricky Gervais is that you should just say it!  Just say it.  You know there are reaction possibilities, right?

 

By Admiralty. [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Admiralty. [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

You could get a laugh.

You could get a groan.

You could get an ugly face.

You could get punched.

You could get a pie in the face.

You could get an honest reaction that surprises you.

Whatever – take the chance, and just say it.

Love,

Carole

xoxoxoxoxo

 

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You Handed Me the Scissors

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If I cut you off, remember this, chances are YOU handed me the scissors.

If I cut you off, chances are you handed me the scissors.

If I cut you off, chances are you handed me the scissors.

Great thought for the new year because the truth is when I purge, I purge.  I do purge all year but at the end of the year I really purge and this is the weekend that the scissors come out.

There just comes a time when moving on is the only thing left to do.  In the busy world of being an entrepreneur there is no time for those people/friends/connections/followers etc whom when you think of them by name fit into the following descriptive words:

  • Annoying
  • Whining
  • Mean
  • Rude
  • Phony
  • Leaches
  • Users
  • Fibbers

There are more words.  Think of it this way when the mere mention of someone’s name makes you visualize an energy sucking vampire – there you go and they should go too.

Anyone who aggravates you in any way should be banned from renting space in your head.  Chances are they are allowing you into their heads so why let them into yours?

Right now you have a year ahead of you to forge new paths, to hone new skills, to be inspired and to inspire others.

This is the one time when you should be running with scissors.  Run to get them, run to use them and cut those people out of the pages of the new book you are about to write.  It’s your book, your story, your life, and your success – it is ALL about you so go get those scissors.  I promise it will be fine.

 

 

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Resolutions Yay or Nay?

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We all make them.  Magazine articles jump out at us, talk show hosts talk about making them to their audiences, and we discuss them with friends.  We may even write them down, but they rarely get to completion.  Why?

WHY RESOLUTIONS DON’T WORK

Well let’s dive in.  I did some research and while I don’t completely agree with the reasons I found in this first article, there are still some good points in it.

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/new-years-resolutions-dont-work-heres-why.html

Then I found a really interesting article on why we small business owners fail at keeping our resolutions.

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/why-most-new-years-resolutions-dont-work/

MY THOUGHTS ON RESOLUTION OR AS I CALL IT, CHANGE

Over this past month I have had the opportunity to think about how much I have changed since the beginning of the year, and I realized a lot of that change came about from my podcast show.  First of all it was a huge undertaking and that in itself is an achievment I am very proud of for certain.  However on a much bigger scale most of my changes have happened due to the incredible guests I have been privileged to talk with who have given me a new weapon in life to carry and to use.  It’s like having my own light sabre.  It’s invisible but I know it is there. Women who don’t take shit from others can be very empowering – thank you.

So just in case you don’t know how to listen to the podcast, here is a link:

http://thecrazymarketingladiesshow.com

After talking with powerful women on my show I decided to stop being nice to everyone because I finally realized that I don’t have to – what a load fell off my back when I realized that. I am not saying I am deliberately rude or mean.  Heavens no, I just remove people from my life that test my “kindness meter”. I totally broke up with a group of women because I did not want them in my life or renting space in my head.  Then I ran into several of them and my invisible light sabre was at my side but I did not have to unsheath it. I was empowered – just knowing I had my invisible light sabre close was all I needed.

I don’t like everyone I meet and that’s ok, and it’s ok if they don’t like me back.  It’s really ok.  Try it, I guarantee you will not miss those that you move on from, and you will feel so much better.  You will actually focus on what you need to focus on by moving past them. FOCUS FOCUS rhymes with hocus-pocus.

Making changes like this are a form of a resolution.  I resolved I wasn’t going to put up with mean girl tactic bullshit any longer.  Can you see where I am headed?  We all have the power to make changes all the time, not just at the beginning of a new year.  Make the changes and resolve to keep those changes in your life (with the exception of any that really are not good changes).

Then one day someone suggested I read Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. Her book is my bible now representing many areas of my life.  I took notes, I am reading it a second time, that is how good it is – and I channel Gilbert now quite often.  When she comes to me it’s all about eating, praying and saying fuck off.  It works.  Gilbert drops the F Bomb too.

Gilbert’s book gave me permission to be me.  I am right where I want to be.  I am happy.  I enjoy my creativity.  I enjoy the hell out of podcasting.  It’s ok to be right where I am.  I highly recommend reading this book.

Earlier this year someone confused my podcast with the idea that I wanted to make money doing it.  I never started my podcast thinking I would make money.  My goal was to help others, to bring entrepreneurs free advice, good information, great guests and wonderful stories.  I do that and I am happy.  As a result of doing this I am building a podcast for someone else.  We bartered it out so yes my being a podcaster has made me money.

Other changes happened and when they did I resolved to keep them in place.  My business is national not local, and I realized that I was being too local.  Making the decision to not move forward with a membership networking group was the right direction to take.  If/when the ROI isn’t really happening take inventory.  I can reach out to many more people with this blog, on social media, at meetups, on webinars, and all from my home office.  What about you?  What can you do to make yourself stand out without putting your key in the ignition of your car?

I will still network but I am much more selective about it now.  I can’t be everywhere like some people are, and quite frankly I don’t want to be. I have work to do. I am booming.

I discovered that the more positive changes I made in my life brought even more opportunities to me.  Funny how that works.  Someone told me earlier this year to never do anything for free.  That is the worst piece of advice ever.  I volunteered to help an organization as their social media mentor and in less than a month I got two of the biggest clients I have ever had.  Volunteering is a great thing to do.  LinkedIn agrees and wants you to include your volunteer experience on your profile.  Go do it.

I am working on goals for 2016 – nothing wrong with goals.  I am following the SMART goal-setting advice I got from a guest on the show.  I want to do more public speaking in 2016.  I have 3 invitations already and I am applying to be a speaker at an international event.    Set goals – it works.  Save your resolutions for changes you make when you realize it is time to make them and then keep the ones that work in place.  That’s how I make resolutions.

Happy Holidays and plan to rock in 2016 ok?  Make it one of your goals – write it down, follow the SMART plan – and get rid of the Zombies in your life.  Resolve to do that.

Are you ready?  Did you set goals?  Forget the resolutions.

Are you ready? Did you set goals? Forget the resolutions.

 

 

 

 

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Put the Spotlight on You

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Put the spotlight on you.  Yes, absolutely shine that circle of light down on what you want, what you are determined to have, that #1 thing that you see when you close your eyes. Grab that spotlight by handle and point it in the direction of you.  Hone in on what is most important to you as you start the new year and concentrate on it.

Get your sunglasses out and put them on because you are going to need them.  That spotlight is going to blind you at times.  Beams of light will fragment and dispersions of light will occur.  You will see rainbows.  This is what happens when you concentrate on what it is that you want.

You have to concentrate.  That’s the key.  You have to block out every distraction and concentrate.  As you concentrate you will connect and then this happens:

“When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you.”
Stephen Richards

Isn’t that an eye-opening quote?  It’s so true.  I wanted to pick out some $5 words to describe the truthfulness in it, I decided to let it stand on it’s own.

Early in 2015 I was not concentrating.  I did not silence the noise within me to get to a point where I could concentrate.  I was not shining a spotlight on what it was that I wanted instead I was guilty of shining many spotlights all over the place.  These spotlights  were bouncing off of each other to the point where I was blind to what it was that I really wanted.

I joined groups, I joined the wrong groups.  I put miles and miles on my car and on the soles of my feet.  I had to be there, no wait I had to be over there, no wait I need to be there, when I should have been here shining one spotlight on what it was that I wanted.  I did not know how to silence the disturbances going on around me.

I was putting my spotlight on other people.  I even let the noise these other people were making become my theme song until one day instead of hearing a beautiful melody that was pitch-perfect I heard sour notes, flat notes, sharp notes, and the rhythm was off and the spotlight wasn’t on at all.

How many times in our lives have we all done this?  We think someone else has the answer.  We think joining a group of like-minded people will help us.  Why can’t we be our own group?  Why do we need others to validate us?  We know when something feels right and when it doesn’t.

As I look back at the sour, sharp, flat note moment now I actually am so grateful that everyone was singing off-key.  I am thrilled the rhythm that was bouncing off the walls in that room soon allowed me to dance to a different beat.  For a short while my spotlight was dimmed but when it came back on, it was electrifyingly brilliant.

How did I get my spotlight shining in the right direction?  Simple, I concentrated on me.  When I started to do this ideas would come to me.  Once they started, they multiplied.  I truly believe ideas have a brain and a heart and if you don’t listen to them they will move on to someone else.  They have a will to survive.

One morning an idea sat on the edge of my keyboard and told me I absolutely had to change some of the wording in my website.  I shined a spotlight on my website and in a very short period of time I had made some really good positive changes.  How do I know that?  Well, within 2 weeks I had new business.

The next idea sat on my monitor and told me that new wording meant a new corporate name, new business cards, new print pieces, new everything every where.  I grabbed that little fellow and by the end of day mission accomplished.

These are examples of what can happen when you shine a spotlight at an idea that comes to you and you give that idea your total concentration.

When I consult with corporations on strategic social media plans I insist they have a white board or a flip chart available and I show them my spotlight methods.  I have a 4′ by 8′ white board in my house with every project I am working on and I stand and shine a spotlight on one project and I concentrate like I am Harry Houdini about to tell you what card you picked out of the deck. (Yes, Houdini started out with card tricks).

What happens next is truly magic.  A group appears in the form of ideas.  You will know which ones are good, bad or excellent.  Your brain is amazing, use it.

I will leave you with this – the bottom line here is that you can sidle up to amazing thought leaders.  You can be their little errand people.  You can be grateful for the bread crumbs they throw you as you shine your spotlight on them.  Or you can shine your spotlight on you and become the amazing thought leader.  You just need to tune out the noise and let the sweet notes of dancing ideas come to you.

2016 is going to be a very successful year for me, I just signed my 16th client and I need to hire an assistant.  That assistant will be taught how to shine the spotlight

Here is your spotlight.

Here is your spotlight.

– first thing on the list.

 

 

 

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What Would W C Fields Say About Podcasting?

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What would W C Fields say about podcasting?  First of all, I know darn well some of you don’t even know who W C Fields is.  If you are one of them here is where you should go to check him out:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001211/

A truly funny, wise man, who loved his booze and not a lot of other things.

A truly funny, wise man, who loved his booze and not a lot of other things.

I never really paid much attention to him either – he was WAY before my time and his antics probably tickled my grandparent’s funny bones. However, he did have a way with words and he is still quoted (or misquoted) to this very day.

What I learned and really put some thought into is this quote:

“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”

I answer to creativity and I am very expressive therefore my anthem is that I am an Expressive Creator. (Thank you Sally Hogshead for your Fascinate program and teaching me my anthem.

I enjoy my creativity to the max.  I enjoy doing my podcast.  I like where I am and it’s all okay.  People ask me all the time if I make money podcasting.  The answer is yes, but my podcast itself is not monetized.  I make money helping other people podcast and I am fine with that.

Would I like sponsors some day – who wouldn’t?  However, I am happy where I am and I actually cringe when people ask me if my show is monetized.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with just enjoying what you do.

I answer to Expressive Creator.  There are podcasters who would call me fluff.  They would say I podcast as a hobby.  They might cringe because I am more interested in adding value to someone else’s world than I am in making money.

Is there anything wrong with just enjoying what you do?  Hell to the no is my answer.

I am writing this in hopes that I might turn on the light bulbs in people’s heads and that they will realize that they, too are right where they should be and they will embrace that.

What would W C Fields say about podcasting?  My guess is that he would say something like this:

“Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.”

Oh, wait W C Fields did say that.  Thank you so much W C Fields.

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Early Holiday Gift Just for You

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Doesn’t everyone love an early holiday gift?  This one is just for you.

Peeking Allowed

Peeking Allowed

Do you have a website?  When did you look at it last?  Let me ask that again, when did you really look at it as in dissect it, rework the wording, change out some old pictures, or ask someone to review it and give you their honest opinion?

We are coming to the close of this year and this is the perfect time to give your website an infusion of trendiness because chances are pretty darn good that there is some old stuff there.  Get rid of the old, pretty it up.  This is why you want to take the time to do this; while everyone else is thinking holidays, parties, gifts, cards, food, and more they are not improving their websites are they?  While they are decking the hall and covered in glitter you can make your website sparkle because you are going to get noticed.

I have a marketing podcast and I recently interviewed a nationally known recruiter and public speaker. While talking he shared with me that the best time of the year to do a lot of things is November and December.  First of all there is less competition because holiday focus has become the tune many people are dancing to during this time.

Add to this fact that new corporate budgets are in place for the next year so maybe, just maybe this might be a jingle bell moment to go after those new accounts.  Less people doing the same thing you know could make your season a little greener.

Your confidence will soar when you update your site and go calling on a potential customer.  You still have time.  Also announce it in your emails, your newsletter, and your blog and all over social media.  Ask people to look your website over – be proud of your work and reward yourself for getting your new year going before it is even here.

Carole Sanek

carole@carolesanek.com

https://carolesanek.com

http://thecrazymarketingladiesshow.com

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