Facebook Newsfeed Changes Make Page Cover Images and Videos More Important

Friday, March 8th, 2013

On March 7, 2013 Facebook announced their upcoming Newsfeed changes. It’s no surprise that images will be featured more prominently across the board.

For Facebook business pages this means the cover image is more important ever. It will be seen more often and its essential that your cover image be optimized for marketing. It needs to not only provide an attractive visual, but to instantly convey your brand and the benefits of your product, services or organization to the viewer.

What does your Business Page Cover image look like? Does it effectively sell your business or organization?

Here are a few examples of Facebook Cover images I have designed:

Facebook Cover Image Designed by Christine Green

 

Facebook Cover Image Designed by Christine Green

 

Facebook Cover Image Designed by Christine Green

 

Facebook Cover Image Designed by Christine Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Videos will also be displayed much larger, giving your company or organization an even greater opportunity to utilize Video Marketing. Take a look at our Video Portfolio. We recently added a new project.

Get in touch if you need a new marketing-optimized cover image for your Facebook business page or want to talk with us about adding video to your company’s marketing plan.

Are Your Products Too Hard to Find?

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

 
Today I observed a huge missed opportunity by a professional who recently published a book.

An image of the cover of the newly published book with a compelling title appeared in my News Feed because a Facebook friend had commented on it (she was a Facebook “friend” of the author who posted the image).

I clicked on the image and the title grabbed my attention enough that I wanted to find out more about the book. I then clicked on the Facebook link for the person (book author) who had posted it. I landed on their Facebook Personal Profile and looked around. But there was no opportunity for me to subscribe to their public updates, no link to a website for the book or for the person or their work, no link to a Facebook Page, no LinkedIn Profile or Twitter account – NOTHING. Nothing I could connect to in order to stay in touch and updated with this person. No way for me to learn about their new book.

I copied the book title and checked on Amazon – not there. The best I could do was to Google the book title. I found one video of a presentation on the subject. I knew it was the same person because the name matched. The person was a great presenter. Unfortunately, there was no contact information or web link included. There was a title frame in the video that included the company name but no URL. So I had to click replay and pause the video to get the name of the company. I then Googled that.

FINALLY!….I found the person’s site. A decent website but still no mention of the book or “upcoming book.” My frustration was growing.

I was surprise to see that they did have a Twitter account linked from the site. I clicked the link and saw that they had 130 Followers. I decide to follow them even though I saw nothing too interesting as I scrolled through their past Tweets – they were mostly repetitive posts announcing that the latest issue of their email newsletter or blog was available. But there were no interesting titles to inspire me to click their link.

After some more digging, I discovered that this person also had a LinkedIn Profile linked from their site. It was tucked away far down on the footer of the site. I clicked on it. Okay! Now, we’re talking! Big presence on LinkedIn. Over 500 connections, blog link and feed, website link and a recent update. Good job on LinkedIn! Too bad the people who don’t know this business person already, can’t find them or their book.

Take off your social media blinders and spread out your online presence. There are a lot of us out here in cyberspace and we want to know about the great things you are doing!

Don’t make it so hard to find you!
Oh, and you can help make this blog article easier to find by clicking the “Like” button at the top of the page, or using one of the share buttons below. :-)

See How Your Website Looks on an iPad

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

 
Have you wondered what your website looks like when viewed on an iPad? If you don’t have an iPad and haven’t loaded your site onto the iPad of a friend, you might be wondering how it will render on the tablet.

Here’s a short video that shows you how to use an online iPad simulator at ipadpeek.com to find how your site looks on that digital device.

How does your site look?

How to Write a Google Review for the Businesses You Appreciate

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

In this economy and time of stiff competition, it is a much appreciated gift to write reviews for the businesses that provide you with superior products and fantastic service.

Of course you can also write negative reviews for the businesses that have disappointed you. Often a bad experience is a strong motivator to write online feedback, but I encourage you to take a few minutes to help out the small local businesses that have served you well.

I encourage you to do this, not only for the food establishments and retailers, but also your service providers that you may only work with occasionally or on a one-time basis – your accountant, business attorney, insurance agent, graphic designer, realtor, electrician, web developer and marketing consultant…..to name a few.

Here are instructions for writing a Google Places Review as of 2/2/12. It’s not as complicated as it looks and I have provide visuals for your convenience.

How to Write a Google Review on Google Places:

1. Search for the business on Google.com or Google Maps.
2. Once you’ve located the business you’d like to review, click the more info link next to the business name in the left panel. The information window will expand with additional options.
3. Click the Write a Review link located above the address of the business.
4. Be as specific as you can about what you liked about working with the company or individual. The more details you can provide, the more compelling the review. And the more helpful it will be for potential customers.
5. Give your review a title and rating (click on the stars).
6. Click Save.

You need to be signed in to your Google Account to write a review. If you’re not signed in, you’ll be prompted to either sign in or create a Google Account. (see the visual instructions below)

NOTE: Your Google Account nickname will appear next to all of the reviews that you write. To change your nickname, go to your Google account settings and click Edit profile.

If you don’t have a Google Account or are not signed in you will land on this page:

Next you will see this Page:
Enter your info and click “I accept Create my account” at the bottom.

Google Account Signup

You should then be returned automatically to the Google Places Page where you were but if not you can just do a Google search for name of the business and city and state – for example: “Radiant Electric Raymond NH”

Once you are back on the page. Click the “Write a Review” button again.
Be sure to give your Review a TITLE and a RATING (click the stars).
Then click “SAVE.”

Your REVIEW is very valuable to the company for which it was written. It is a great expression of appreciation for a “job well done.”

Your Review helps the business in the following ways:
• getting the business known online
• improving Search Engine Optimization and Google ranking
• publicizing the services and quality customer service the company provides
• displaying feedback from customers which is one of the most effective ways to get new customers

So….“don’t forget your servers”  and help them out by writing a Google Review.  And don’t be shy – write a Yelp review and a review on any other business directory sites you can find.

Marketing and Branding Impact of the New Twitter Format

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

image

Has your Twitter page transformed into the new format yet? If not it will very soon (like probably today!)

There are many interesting changes and plenty of places to learn what you need to know, so I won’t go into those details here.

There is, however, a small but not-so-minor change that will be of interest to businesses using Twitter as one of their marketing tools. Twitter’s new format emphasizes the “name” associated with the account rather than the @username, that was previously the highlighted identifier.

The name might be a person’s actual name, but can be whatever the account holder has chosen. In some cases it’s the name of a company or some combination of a name, company, word, etc.

This change has significant implications for branding yourself or your company.

For example, I have two Twitter accounts – one for myself as associated with my company Christine Green Consulting, and one that is associated with my mobile marketing and text messaging service.

My first account has the username of @ChristineGreen_ and the name associated with it is Christine Green. No surprise.

image

My second Twitter account has the username of @MobileMrketing but also has the name Christine Green associated with it.

image

When I first launched that account the name associated with it was “Bost MobileMrketing.” I choose to do this temporarily for branding while I was building the website.

I was also curious to see how followers would interact with an account that had no web link and no identified person behind it. I did attract followers slowly but surely. I still have a rather small following and am not very active on the account yet, but once the Boston North Mobile Marketing site was launched, I added that link and changed the name to my own.

In the old Twitter format I was being branded primarily as @MobileMrketing because that username was most prominent. It was shown first and was larger and bolder than my name.

In the new format the opposite is true. The person’s name is now first (or at the top), large and bold.

This changes the way you are identified and perhaps even how you are perceived. Have you been branding yourself by your username or as your name? For some of you they are the same, but for many, your @username has become well known and even its own brand.

The example that comes to mind immediately is @Pistachio who is Laura Fitton. She is well know in the Twittersphere and co-author of Twitter for Dummies. To be honest I followed her for almost a year before I knew her name!

But check out how she shows up in the new profile:

image

In both of these screenshots you can barely see, much less notice her @Pistachio username.

image

So what does this reformatting mean for businesses using Twitter for marketing?

Mostly, you need to be aware of this change. You or your social media marketing consultant or staff can decide if you need to take any action. The good news is that you can change your username or your name. I wouldn’t advise changing your username since it has been your brand to many of your followers. (I am not sure what happens if you change your username but I assume you would keep your followers).

You may however, want to change the name associated with the account. If it’s your own name, I’d recommend keeping it, but if it is a made-up word or combination “name” you will want to assess the impact of it now being front-and-center. Now’s the time to make a change if you believe another name will improve your branding.

A final consideration related to your Twitter identity, is the photo or image that you use with your account. Now, more than ever, the image that represents your account is critical. If you aren’t crazy about it, change it now to assist with your branding.

The new format is an exciting change for this micro-blog. Hopefully it will stay the same long enough to allow businesses to optimize it for marketing…unlike another social media venue, (which will go unnamed) that changes almost daily! #FB Smile

P.S. As you can see, my Twitter accounts aren’t exactly brimming with followers, but you can change that! Let’s connect!

Why Twitter’s Link Shortening Service is a Big Deal

Monday, November 21st, 2011

2011-11-21 17h13_16

Twitter launched its own link shortening service in August of this year. At first only links that were too long to fit into the 140 character space were shortened. But as of October 2011, all links are shortened.

There are many link shortening services, so what’s the big deal?

The big deal is this – the service offers the following:

  • It protects users by checking against a list of potentially dangerous sites that spread malware, engage in phishing attacks, and other harmful activity, and warns them before they continue.
  • The service also measures information like how many times a link has been clicked.
  • A promise by Twitter that the information measured “will eventually become an important quality signal for our resonance algorithm, which determines how relevant and interesting each Tweet is when compared to similar Tweets.”

What you need to know:

  • All links published through Twitter are safe to click, including those in Direct Messages.
  • You can still use other link shortening services, so you don’t have to stop tracking your metrics with another service like bit.ly.
  • The Twitter t.co service only works for links published on Twitter and cannot be used independently for general link shortening.
  • Twitter’s shortened links will now show up separately in your analytics as a referral source.
  • You can not only track the effectiveness of your Twitter activity, but now your individual Tweets!

The tracking feature alone will boost Twitter as an engagement marketing tool for brands. And we will hear a sigh of relief from Tweeters everywhere when they learn about the safe browsing.

Follow Me and send me one of your shortened links! :-)

LinkedIn Company Pages Can Now Publish Updates

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

LinkedIn just announced a new feature for their Company Pages – “Status Updates.” This means you can now publish an update as your company if you have a Company Page on LinkedIn.

Company Pages for LinkedIn

Of course, if you don’t yet have any, you’ll need to attract Followers to your business on LinkedIn, otherwise no one will see your company’s status updates. It does not get published to your personal updates feed.

As a small business it’s a good idea to create a Company Page with at least the basic information and a logo image, but it might not be the best use of your marketing time and energy to focus on your LinkedIn presence.

Company Pages are probably most effective for medium to large companies that have a lot of employees and are known already on LinkedIn and currently have their employees connected to the company page. Another important feature is that, like Facebook Business Pages, Company Pages on LinkedIn can have more than one Administrator who can publish status updates.

With so many online profiles, pages and venues, it’s essential to make an informed decision about where and how you spend your marketing time.

A carefully crafted marketing strategy, based on an in-depth assessment of your company, will help you determine if and how your LinkedIn Company Page fits into your marketing plan and time allotment.

Learn more here about LinkedIn Company Pages

The Risk of Piecemeal Marketing

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Marketing Puzzle

No matter how limited your budget, a piecemeal marketing approach of jumping onto the latest bandwagon, is usually not wise or cost-effective.

Putting up a Facebook Business Page or adding a QR Code to print collateral will be effective only if your strategic plan calls for those initiatives and they are properly implemented and managed. Don’t get me wrong, both can be extremely effective, but not simply because you use them.

See my post What Businesses Are Doing Wrong with QR Codes.

Neither Facebook or QR Codes are a business promotion quick fix. In fact, they can both be a waste of money if they are not the best use of your marketing dollars.

How do you know which initiatives will best utilize your marketing budget?

Well, you’ll first need to take an in-depth look at what you are doing and why….and more importantly, what you are not doing.

What you need is a Marketing Strategy – one that’s been developed by the appropriate professional. And I’m not talking about your web designer who thinks s/he has marketing expertise because they add social media links and email capture forms to your website. That’s popularity-based piecemeal marketing and will likely give you inconsistent piecemeal results.

You might think you can’t go wrong with social media links, but actually you can. If your prospects and customers go to your Twitter account or your Facebook Business Page and you are not versed in the social media protocol that will give them what they want and keep them engaged, you can lose them with a click of a button. And in most cases you will never see them again.

Don’t fall into the trap of the marketing bandwagon. Business owners, like everyone else, are strongly influenced by trends. Trends are important to pay attention to, but don’t forget to think for yourself rather than following blindly. Get the advice of a marketing expert, not your friends or business associates. Even if a business colleague has gotten great results with specific marketing tactics, those same activities may not translate to success for your business. And even if they do, you might have loose ends about how a particular initiative fits into your overall strategy, how it interfaces with other initiatives and the essential details of its implementation.

And what you may never know is what opportunities you missed, including the additional customers you could have attracted and converted, had you followed a skillfully crafted strategic plan.

Individual initiatives that are not part of a strategic plan are merely marketing “activities” and likely won’t lead to a fully successful campaign that helps you meet your business development goals.

The launch of any initiative requires a comprehensive understanding of today’s digital and social media protocol, as well as considerations of the complexities of context, scope, timing, management, tracking, and analysis.

While your current activities may not necessarily be off the mark, you are likely only accessing the tip of the iceberg in terms of your marketing potential.

I’m not talking about high-budget campaigns that you can’t afford. I’m talking about things you don’t know about, innovative approaches you will never think of, and creative strategies. I’m talking about the smart use of your business development dollars. If you are serious about your business and want to build your customer base and increase your market share, don’t do your own marketing.

Outsource it, just as you do for legal matters, bookkeeping, and taxes. You can be closely involved and there are certainly marketing tasks you can perform, but you’ll have guidance and will feel confident that your activities are on track and making a difference for your business.

Your marketing budget will be best spent on an in-depth assessment and and a marketing plan based on those findings. Hire a marketing consultant with expertise and creative skills, who can design an effective strategy.

I just might know someone. Winking smile

New Facebook Timeline Format Offers Opportunity for Business Marketing and Personal Branding

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

A few days ago Facebook announced the launch of a new page design for personal profiles. This new format features a large banner area at the top of the page. It is similar to the recent trend in web design that displays a large image on the homepage. Facebook calls this banner your “Cover.” You can add any image you want and change it as often as you like.

As a marketer I began to drool the minute I saw this unveiled. Most people will upload an interesting or funny photograph, but it presents a fabulous opportunity for business marketing and personal branding.

I immediately got to work on creating my Cover image. Here’s a screenshot of my new personal profile page:

CG_FB_ProfileTimelineImage

While this is currently published on my Facebook profile, it is only visible to those who have application developer status, so only a few of my Facebook friends can see it at this time. On September 29, 2011, Facebook will begin to shift profiles over to this new format and it will then be visible to everyone.

As you can see I created a custom graphic image that displays my company name and website URLs. The URLs are not live links but I did manage to make the banner interactive with a QR Code that is scannable and takes you to a mobile version of my website. If you are unfamiliar with QR Codes, it is the bar code in the lower left corner of the banner. You need a QR Code app on your smartphone in order to scan it.

Let me take a moment to clarify that the Facebook Terms of Service states that your personal profile has to be a real person and should not be used for financial gain. This is a bit loosely defined and not fully enforced, but I highly recommend that you do your direct business promotions on a Facebook Business Page, rather than your personal profile.

What I am recommending in this article is within the Terms of Service. I do sometimes talk about what I do in my business on my personal profile, but I never directly pitch my services. That would be a quick way to get “unfriended” and is, in my opinion, unprofessional. If you want a presence for your business on Facebook, create a Facebook Page that people “Like” rather than “Friend.”

Now….back to your profile Cover. If you want to get started now and set up your new profile, you can find instructions on Tech Crunch.

As you can see, this is fairly straightforward. As of next Thursday you will have a new “canvas” on your Facebook profile on which you can feature whatever you want. It’s one of the best of the recent changes on Facebook and is ideal for getting the word out about your professional identity.

At Christine Green Consulting, we will certainly now include the optimization of the Facebook profile banner in our client’s strategic marketing plans.

I look forward to seeing the creative ways these banners will be used!

Impossible Feats – Accomplishing What Can’t Be Done

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

What is your relationship to the seemingly impossible? What amazing feat might you accomplish if you were able to hold your intention with unwavering commitment?

The World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City had an interesting history with two incredible feats of the impossible. One took place at its birth and the other at its death.

Both of these feats were incomprehensible – the first in the positive sense and the second in a tragically negative sense. There was a time when even the feat of building the towers themselves, buildings of that height, was impossible.

The first impossible feat that birthed the WTC was the high-wire act across the two towers by the young Frenchmen, Philippe Petit (see the film Man on Wire if you haven’t yet.)

The second and final impossible feat involving the twin towers was of course, the terrorist attacks where two jet planes flew directly into and brought down the towers on September 11, 2001.

Both of these feats required lengthy and complex planning, with little margin for error. All things had to be impeccably aligned to pull it off. To reflect on the theory of either one of these feats in detail, would surely have any one declaring it impossible.

The interesting aspect is that both involved significant breaches in security. Philippe Petit should have never gotten past security guards to haul all of his equipment and crew to the top of the towers, not to mention rigging and securing the wire between the two towers and then performing his high-wire act for 45 minutes.

Middle-Eastern men with no luggage, using cash to purchase one-way tickets on flights from the east coast, should not have easily gotten past the security check. (please don’t call me racist – I am merely referring to a combination of factors that would likely raise the suspicion of security personnel)

For good, for bad, for entertainment, for evil. For whatever….how were these feats accomplished?

Somehow everything….and I mean everything went right. Everything was perfect. The weather conditions for each feat had to be perfect – and it was. No part of the plan could go wrong – and it didn’t. There were certainly a few minor glitches – but no obstacle big enough to stand in the way.

So how are astounding feats like these accomplished?

Were the stars aligned? Obviously yes…for whatever that’s worth.

Was it brilliant planning and execution? Yes, again…but is there more?

I believe the most important aspect of how these seemingly impossible feats were accomplished was a profound unwavering, intention and desire. An absolute dedication and commitment unlike the kind most of us ever experience.

There was not one micro-ounce of ambivalence; not one moment of doubt; not one nano-second of hesitation. In each of these feats the impossible was made possible by the single-minded intention and full-out commitment of those who carried them out.

Let’s leave the discussion of good and evil intention for another time and place.

The point I am making is that it is the power of intention and an iron-clad commitment that creates amazing results.

You won’t likely be trying to accomplish such extreme feats, but each of our challenges can feel impossible at times. For the start-up business owner, the challenge of building and sustaining a successful business can feel impossible. For the independent consultant, each project can have impossible aspects that we have to overcome. And for those who work for someone else, there are times when your boss expects the impossible. Right?

How high do you set your sights for what you can accomplish? What’s your level of commitment? Do you struggle with ambivalence? Do you second-guess yourself and your direction or decisions?

Think about the expectations you have for yourself. Get honest about your level of commitment. Don’t kid yourself if you feel ambivalent. Understand that accomplishing impossible feats requires precision and attention to detail. But know that perfectionism to the degree of obsession and hesitation will hinder rather than help your success.

Paying attention and regularly evaluating these aspects of your approach can be the most valuable business skill.

Work toward overcoming your personal obstacles and train your mind to support you rather than work against you.

The combination of your belief in your ability to accomplish and your desire to make it happen is the recipe for success.

What impossible feat will you focus on this year?

Make it a positive, life-sustaining goal. Commit. Have fun. Break a few rules…and make it happen.

Reason #1 to Get on Google Plus

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Google Plus icon

This is the first article in a series about why you should create a profile and participate on Google+ (“Google Plus”). This series may consist of one post (that doesn’t make it a series then, does it?) or more, depending on how many reasons I can muster.

Since the social media venue is only about a week old, the community on Google+ is not yet humongous (though today it’s supposed to reach 10 million – Okay that’s pretty darn big, but a far cry from Facebook’s 400 billion!).

As a social media consultant it was important for me to get on G+ as soon as I could and begin assessing it for business use. You may think it’s not possible to have a business presence yet. Google has asked businesses to hold off on creating profiles for their companies, and I recently saw a post stating that they were already cracking down and removing profiles with a business name (unlike Facebook, where thousands, if not millions of businesses get away with violating the Terms of Service by creating a “Profile” that can “friend” others, rather than a business “Page” that is “Liked”)

So,  you may say “Why bother, if my only interest in social media is for boosting my business?” Well, I’ll tell you why you should bother.

Since the pool of participants is still relatively small and the connecting protocol is being made up as we (early adopters) go along, you may have an amazing opportunity as a business professional. At least if you are a marketer or social media specialist. Though I have a feeling what I am experiencing will hold true for other professions if/when they are participating.

As I search for specific people, by typing in the search form or browsing the connections of others, I add them to my circles. I have the choice of adding them to an existing default circle (which are titled “following,” “friends,” “family,” and “acquaintances”) or creating a new custom-named circle. My approach is to add the hot shot well-known marketers and social media gurus to my “following” circle….just as I do on Twitter. It’s likely I will later sift this down into sub-categories but that’s what I am doing for now.

Because this venue is so new and it is almost a combination of Facebook and Twitter, there may be behaviors happening now that will vanish later.

One of those behaviors is that some of these well-known folks have added me (yes me!) to one of their circles. Now that could mean that I’ve been added to a custom circle called “The losers who are following me” or “Think I’ll make her day by adding her to this circle that I will never view,” but I don’t think so. I’m sure I’m not in their “Essential Contacts” circle, but they probably take a gander now and then at the masses who follow them, especially while this is all still new.

I think the social media marketing rock stars are thinking that anyone who is already on G+ is worth adding just because we know enough to jump in as an early adopter. And they want to build their circles and are being generous.

Twitter has the similar quality of giving you the opportunity to connect with highly regarded people in any field. They may not follow you back or respond to the @famousperson messages you Tweet, but you do have the opportunity to “talk to” them publicly that way.

The deal with G+ is that once you add someone to one of your circles you get to see everything they publish – or at least what they publish to the public or to the circle you’re in. AND you get to comment on any of their posts that you see. So guess what? Even though that person may get 87 comments on any one of their public posts, one of them can be yours! And I’d be willing to bet that at least for the next few weeks, that person is going to read most of those comments.

So your name gets in front of them in several ways. First you added them and they get notified that you did. Secondly, if you comment on their posts you potentially get seen by them once again (not to mention being seen by all the others who commented). And if you have something halfway interesting to say, you may even get noticed or responded to in the comment area. And if you turn into a stalking commenter, you’ll at least be a familiar name!

Seriously, though you have the ability to get known. Whether it’s by someone highly regarded in your field or by potential clients or referral sources…..you still get known. And that’s what social media is all about. And that’s what doing business is all about.

G+ is a big conversation. And if you post thoughtful comments of substance and publish your own content of value, you’ll become known for that. But if you become a pest or just toot your own horn, you’ll become known for that. Your choice.

So jump in. Listen for a while to make sure you “get” what’s going on, so you don’t do more damage than good – then start participating.

Find the people you want to get in front of:

  • valuable connections
  • leaders in your industry
  • mentors and colleagues
  • potential clients
  • potential collaborators
  • referral sources
  • interesting people

Add them to one of your circles.

Then Don’t be shy. Contribute to the conversation. But don’t have an agenda or try to force an outcome. Stay connected and stay open.

And most of all – relax and have some fun.
They call it “social” media for a reason!

Come find me on Google+

I promise I’ll put you in the perfect circle! Smile

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Facebook

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Eggs-in-Basket-FB

Many businesses have jumped on the Facebook band wagon. Many are using their Facebook Business Page as their primary “website” and/or for various promotions and opt-ins. This had made me nervous for some time and I would strongly advise against relying too heavily on Facebook.

Right now Facebook seems like an unstoppable empire. But I personally don’t think they will last if they continue in the direction they are heading and maintain the same business attitude. Mark Zuckerberg is young with more than a touch of narcissism and thinks me knows best what FB users need and want. He has a narrow vision which has proven to be clueless time and time again, both for Personal Profiles and Business Pages.

I believe Facebook has too many fatal flaws that they will likely defend to the end. Their policy of making users “opt-out” rather than “opt-in” to annoying and invasive privacy settings is a sore spot for many people.

When they did away with the chronological order of posts on Business Pages they almost destroyed the effectiveness of the Pages for many companies.

Their almost daily changes with little regard for user preference is turning people off and confusing the rest of us.

And now…..finally there is a contender that may knock them off their feet. Something that might not be hard to do, especially when it comes from a well known company like Google.

I don’t even have a Google+ (pronounced “Google Plus”) account yet, but from viewing their intro videos I see that they are addressing the missing and failed elements of Facebook. It appears that they have actually designed the venue to what users want. It might be worth the switch for the “Circles” element alone.

“Circles” are groups based around common interests, values, philosophies or whatever, and provide the opportunity to post exclusively to the members of that group. To me this allows for more freedom of expression than I feel comfortable publishing to my entire “friend” list on FB. The reality is that we all have pods of different types of people and we communicate a little differently within each of those groups.

My prediction is that while it may take a while – perhaps even a year or two….Google+ will likely climb to the top of the heap as the number one social “friending” venue, with Facebook going the way of MySpace.

I have no idea what Google+ does or will feature for a business presence. But Google is a sophisticated business-savvy company and I have confidence that they won’t have any difficulty out-shining Facebook in that arena. Facebook has had no competitors and had no significant consequences to face for its many missteps. But the party’s over and there’s a new kid in town.

So if your business has a Facebook Business Page, ride the FB wave while you can. But do some forward thinking, take a look at Google+ (once you can) and think about where you want to keep your eggs.

What Your Business is Doing Wrong with QR Codes

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

CG.com QR Code

Many businesses have gotten excited about 2D bar codes, especially QR codes. They are popping up everywhere. Unfortunately, many businesses are using QR codes ineffectively. In the rush to jump on the band wagon with this compelling technology, these bar codes are being haphazardly printed in various media without an effective marketing strategy or meaningful context.

Like many similar communication tools that have come before, well intentioned business owners mistakenly think that merely adding the code to their marketing collateral will boost their customer base. They pat themselves on the back for being on the leading edge of this marketing trend but are unaware of how to reap the full benefits of this new tool.

The biggest mistake I have seen so far is using a QR code that leads to a web page that is not a mobile-friendly site. Why is this a problem? You are asking potential customers to scan the code with their smart phone and when they do, it automatically takes them to a page on your website. So you are obviously wanting them to view your web page on their phone. But if they don’t land on a mobile version of your website, it will be difficult for them to view and even more difficult to navigate, find your contact info or make a purchase. You are wasting their time and your leading edge code that results in a frustrating experience will do more harm than good. You’ve wasted your marketing efforts and dollars.

I hope you didn’t pay a marketing professional to set up your failed QR code campaign.

What Are QR Codes?

QR stands for Quick Response. A QR Code is a square black and white (though some are in color) bar code, that when scanned with the proper app on a mobile device, will take you to information or an online destination. This might be contact information, a website, video or a downloadable file.

It’s an ingenious concept, but before you join the ranks and spend marketing dollars to add a QR code to your paper towel holder, you may want to do a bit more research. QR codes may not be the amazing customer magnet that you think they are. And if you don’t use them effectively you’ve wasted perfectly good black ink (not to mention your time and money).

First of all they are not new. They have been used in Japan and South Korea for many years.

Secondly, they are still not accessible to most people, at least not in the United States. They are very effective in Japan because all Japanese cell phones come with a bar code scanner pre-installed. So the average Japanese citizen is familiar with them, has a scanner app on their phone and can easily scan till their heart’s content.

However, in the U.S. it’s a different story. There’s a lot of hype, but not yet much in the way of accessibility or familiarity for the average person. A smart phone is required and the user needs to download a bar code scanner and then learn how to use it. This might be a snap for those under 30, but many in their 40s and 50s are just not there yet.

Here are a few places where you’ll see QR Codes in the U.S.:

  • Magazine ads
  • Websites
  • Business cards
  • Signs
  • Fliers and brochures

And here’s a hoot – they are even on billboards! I’m not sure how your customers can scan the code while driving by, but hey you’ve got your bar code big as life!

Here’s what companies are doing wrong:

  • Placing them without an explanation of what it is or how to use it
  • Not giving the customer a compelling reason to scan it
  • Making them too small and therefore difficult to scan
  • Sending the customer to a destination that may not be what the customer wants
  • Sending the customer to a web page that is not on a mobile website
  • Not having an effective strategy
  • Sending the customer to a destination that doesn’t allow or encourage on-going connection
  • Placing them where one could not scan it easily or safely (like billboards)

What you need to know:

  • There are likely better ways to use QR Codes that you don’t know about
  • If you use a code that leads customers to a website – make sure it’s a mobile website
  • A marketing strategist who specializes in new media technology can help you optimize how you use the codes
  • There are far more effective leading edge uses of your marketing dollars than using QR Codes

QR Codes are fun and unique. So go ahead and use them, but save yourself time, money and frustration by getting advice from a marketing professional. Assess their usefulness for your specific business, make an informed decision and then learn the most effective ways to use them.

And if you don’t use them now, you can always make good use of them in the Afterlife. The very latest trend is to include one on your tombstone! :-)

Social Media Early Adopters Get Big Boost

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Google Social Search

This week Google made some big changes to their Social Search that will pay off big if you have a Google Profile and have been actively building your online presence.

Google Social Search was introduced in 2009, but the new features are the most significant to date.

In a nutshell what happens now is when you are logged in with your Google Profile and you enter search terms, you receive results that include relevant links to blogs, tweets, photos and other content of Google Profile users with whom you are connected. This has been the case for a few years but they are now integrated rather than at the bottom of the page.

Here’s how it works: If you enter “famous cats who use social media marketing in Newburyport to raise money for charities” into Google search and your cousin’s ex-husband’s neighbor’s college roommate is one of your Twitter connections (who has a Google Profile) AND they have published content related to famous Newburyport cats who use social media marketing to help charities – that person’s article, name and picture will show up on the first page of your Google search results!

How great is that?

And…if YOU have a strong online presence and someone digitally connected to you searches for something that you have blogged, posted or tweeted about, guess whose smiling face shows up integrated in their first page Google search results? Yep…You!

So, if you already have a Google Profile, pat yourself on the back and keep cranking out that content!

And if you don’t have a Google Profile…get going and create one. But not before you share this post with your colleagues who also need a Google Profile!

You can do that by using the “Spread the Word” buttons below and then head over to the Google Profiles Page and get yourself digitized!

It’s never too late!

Business Boundaries

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Christine Green on Business Boundaries

One topic that comes up often with my coaching clients, is boundaries. That’s because so much of coaching, whether it be personal or professional, is about relationships. And relationships are managed effectively or ineffectively in direct proportion to the state of our interpersonal boundaries.

So what am I talking about here? What are boundaries?

Boundaries are the invisible screen around us that lets us know where we end and others begin.

Boundaries:

· must be permeable enough to take in and give out necessary information

· must be impermeable enough to offer protection and separation

· are our “perimeter” that determines acceptable closeness

· help us know what are our feelings and what are someone else’s feelings

· help us know what is our responsibility or problem and what is someone else’s

· give us the ability to take in feedback and either accept it, modify it or reject it

· give us the ability to recognize our needs and wants in making decisions

· help us recognize and respect the boundaries of others

· keep us from offending or violating the boundaries of others

· help us take responsibility for our choices and feelings without blaming others

· give us “common sense” in our social judgment- we recognize danger

I originally created the above list to describe boundaries as they relate to personal and intimate relationships. But depending on the person or situation you have in mind, each element can also apply to business relationships.

Types of Boundaries

Physical Boundaries:

This is your personal space; your comfort zone. Each person has their own unique physical boundary – how physically close someone can get while maintaining comfort – yours and theirs. This is culturally defined and defined by childhood experiences. If our physical boundary was violated as a child we are more susceptible to abuse as an adult and more likely to violate the physical boundaries of others as well.

Emotional Boundaries:

This is about how much personal information we share with others and when. It is about how easily we distinguish our feelings from those of others. If our emotional boundary was violated as a child we may have difficulty with intimacy due to a tendency to become over-involved and too closely enmeshed with others. It can also mean that we “absorb” the energy or feelings of others, which can result in mild discomfort to intense overwhelm. We then feel unsafe and have to put up a “wall” to feel protected. With weak emotional boundaries we don’t know how to move easily from intimacy to autonomy. And we therefore often operate in one or the other extreme. All or nothing – completely entangled with someone or walled off and shut down.

Intellectual Boundaries:

This is about how solid we feel in our personal identity and our clarity about what thoughts and beliefs are ours and what are the thoughts and beliefs of others. If our intellectual boundary was violated as a child we may have difficulty knowing our true beliefs or trusting our ability to make decisions. We may be susceptible to mental manipulation of others – also known as “mind games.”

Sexual Boundaries:

This is about the ability to decide with whom we relate sexually, and when. If our sexual boundary was violated as a child we may have difficulty setting limits sexually or may even behave compulsively with sex. And in the extreme we may have the urge to violate others sexually.

Can you see how each of these types of boundaries can impact not only your personal, but also your business life?

In today’s culture our personal and professional lives often overlap. And if you run your own business you know that there is often a blurred boundary between work and home life. Not to say that is a bad thing or even that weak boundaries in any of these areas is always negative. That’s only for you to judge.

The key however, is the issue of choice. Are you making a choice about how close, or how involved you are in a particular moment or with a particular person? When we feel powerless over our boundaries or other people’s boundaries, then we have a problem.

This article is intended to merely introduce this topic. There is much to say about boundaries in the business world. I will delve into examples and the specific negative consequences of weak boundaries in a future post. If this is a significant issue for you, my best suggestion is to consider working with a coach who has experience helping people developing healthier boundaries.

There are many books that offer help with boundaries. Some of the best are books on codependency. Charles Whitfield and Pia Mellody both offer good advice on boundaries. (these are affiliate links)

What are your experiences with professional boundaries? Do you have different boundaries with each colleague? Or do you find yourself in the same patterns with all your business relationships? What about your employees or your superiors?

What would be most helpful for you in regard to creating healthier boundaries? Make some suggestions and I will write a future blog post that addresses that aspect. Thanks!

The Business Necessity of Self Care and Nurturance

Friday, November 5th, 2010

foot_massage200w

I scheduled a massage this week, even though I “couldn’t afford it.” The result (even before receiving the massage) was increased energy, lifted spirits, better focus, more efficiency and productivity, and increased confidence about moving forward on a specific business project. I’ll take a moment to mention my amazing massage therapist, Linda Delande from Meridian Body Therapies in Newburyport, Massachusetts. She’s the best!Meridian Body Therapies

So….all those benefits to my business, just from scheduling a massage? Maybe not. There were certainly other factors, but it’s my experience as a solo entrepreneur, that intense self-care is mission critical. I AM the engine behind the business. I AM the heart and soul of it. I AM the “Mama” of the enterprise. And you know what they say – “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”

And if Mama is overly stressed and not getting the sufficient nurturing that she needs to operate at an optimum level, then she must institute whatever wellness components she needs in order to run the business effectively and sustainably.

Each solopreneur has his or her own preferred wellness support. For me it’s a massage or an hour at the beach in the late afternoon. For someone else it might be another type of bodywork, yoga, meditation or taking time for a racquetball game or a long-overdue phone call with a friend.

Two martinis after work might be your idea of nurturance, but I would put that in a whole different category. I invite you to discover and implement the practice you prefer that fully enhances the wellness of your mind and body.

Use the share buttons below to pass this along to anyone you know who might benefit from stepping up their self-care. And please leave a comment to let me know what works for you.

And remember, “Takin Care of Business” means Takin Care of YOU!

How to Get a Great Headshot Photo

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Ziggy Christine Green

Do you know how to smile? :-)

Do you? I thought I did until I started posing for business headshots a few years ago and realized that I didn’t. :-(

What “felt like” an appropriate smile for a business photo turned out to not be much of a smile at all. I was intrigued that from inside of my face it felt like I was giving a big smile but I wasn’t. This was great information to have in order to produce a better photographic image, but it was even more valuable to know that when I thought I was smiling at others, perhaps I wasn’t or at least not giving the expression I had intended.

I have been told numerous times throughout my life that I have a great smile…so I must be pulling it off at least some of the time!

But apparently I wasn’t so good at posing for a business photograph. So I practiced. Yes, I practiced smiling.

I rehearsed in the mirror perfecting the smile that I wanted to have in a photograph. I paid close attention to how it felt on my face. It’s helpful to get the exact smile and look that you want and then close your eyes and tune in to how your face feels. What is your sensation of the position of your cheeks? Is your mouth open or closed? Does it feel unnatural or exaggerated? Are your eyebrows raised a little or relaxed? Is your head tilted? Try to notice every detail so that you can later replicate it when your photographer is in front of you.

Once you get it perfected you can access your “photo face” whenever you get your picture taken. And trust me – later when you are viewing your vacation photos or your friends post those snapshots of you on Facebook, you’ll be glad you took the time to optimize your smile!

It’s my experience that people who hate getting their picture taken don’t like the way they look in photos. And they don’t look their best because they are cringing and putting on a fake smile. So take the time and learn this skill. You won’t regret it.

Go ahead – find a mirror. Say “cheese” and see how it looks. Grab your camera or phone and snap a few shots. Rehearse and repeat. :-D

Follow Up is NOW

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Gone are the days of obtaining a client by introducing yourself at an event, getting a business card and contacting them the next day. This system still has its place, but in today’s speed-of-light market you must give your potential customer a consultation on-the-spot.

Why wait? Give them value immediately.  Demonstrate your skills and knowledge, customized in that moment to the needs of the prospective client standing in front of you. If you don’t know how to do this, then learn…or you will be left behind in the dust. (a good coach can help you with this)

If you are unhappy with your current employee benefits program and you just happen to meet, not one but two, insurance brokers at a networking mixer…who are you going to call the next day? The one who tells you she offers a full range of benefits options as well as HR consulting and would love to sit down with you to go over the features of each package? Or the one who tells you how he just saved a new client 19% on their existing plan after coming up with several innovations that reconfigured their medical plan with a dual option?

If you know your website is outdated and pathetic, who are you going to set up a meeting with? The person you met at the Chamber event who told you that he is a copywriter and web designer who owns his own business in your town? Or the person at the same event, who asks you how many new clients per month come to you through your website?..if your website’s copyright date is 2 years old?..and after learning about your business, offers you two ideas that will encourage visitors to stay longer on your website?

Many of you worry that you will “give too much away.” You’ve worked hard to gain your expertise and you deserve to be paid for it. Get over it. Offering instant great value is the name of the game. It actually always has been for skilled sales people, but today it can truly make or break the thread to the next step in landing the client. Giving a mini-consultation will absolutely position you as an expert in the mind of the client. When you “show them” rather than “tell them” how skilled you are, they appreciate you and trust you. And they won’t waste time later asking about your credentials.

Your potential client will not likely remember enough of the specifics to actually implement the great ideas you gave her. But what she will remember is your interest, your brilliance, and your solution to her business problem. You’re the one she’s going to call the next day. Expect her call, and for God’s sake get back to her the same day, if not within the hour!

Productive vs. Lazy

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Let’s talk about “Lazy.” I keep hearing this word – usually from high achievers referring to themselves the instant they take a moment to relax. I’ve read a lot of tweets lately with the author using the term “lazy” to refer to themselves when they weren’t working or being “productive.” I don’t know about them but to me “lazy” has a negative connotation. Webster defines it as “not eager or willing to work or exert oneself; indolent; slothful.” Other online sources offer: “disinclined to work or exertion; averse to labor; idle; shirking work.” Not exactly a description I would want to use referring to myself or anyone else.

So what’s up with this duality of being either productive or lazy? Is there no middle ground? And why do so many people refer to themselves as “lazy” when they are not doing, doing, doing? Is it not okay to relax?

How have we come to be so hard on ourselves? And how hard are we on our employees if we perceive that they are not productive 100% of the time? A recent study states that using the Internet at work is good for productivity.

Is it perhaps, not only okay, but even necessary to relax and recharge? Is a half hour of daydreaming on a lounge chair in the yard a bad thing to do? Or is it a valid human activity? Can it be necessary to soothe my neural synapses, enabling refreshed and more creative “productive time” later?

The Healing Power of Not-Doing

About 15 years ago a friend’s husband suffered brain damage from a car accident that left him cognitively disabled. Her trauma from this experience was in some ways worse than his. He was no longer himself, had violent outbursts and needed constant supervision. Previous to her husband’s accident, she was a full-time physician. After the accident, she left her medical practice and once her husband was settled in a care facility, she spent 8 months on her couch watching the trees sway outside her bay window. A few years later, once she had put her life back together, she shared with me the necessity of that healing practice. That powerful image of what she needed to do (or rather not do) for her healing, has stuck with me.

In Jill Bolte Taylor’s book My Stroke of Insight, she shares that after her stroke, what she needed most was sleep. What her brain and body needed was not more testing or the doing of “rehab,” but the soothing, nurturing, regenerative power of rest. Would we call her “lazy” for not getting back in the saddle immediately? Of course not. But yet we judge ourselves and others when we take “downtime.” Downtime? How’s that for a negative expression? “The computers are down” means they are useless. And when humans are “down” they are depressed. So perhaps we should stop taking “downtime” and instead set aside time for relaxation and renewal.

And for those of you who have people working for you – Hire the most competent and reliable staff you can find…and then trust them. Trust them to get their work done in their own way. Get off their backs. Let go of the micro-managing and allow your people the freedom to relax a little, surf the net, chit chat, etc. They will be happy. And they will be productive.

“All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl.” It also makes Jill a less creative problem solver, as well as weary and prone to making mistakes.

Let’s give Jill a break. Literally.

True Choice: Six Steps for Optimal Decision Making

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

As explained in my last post, Yes/No Decision Making is often the norm in businesses and organizations. Here’s that process in a nutshell: when an interesting idea is presented by either an organizational insider or outsider, there is a tendency for the group to respond using the Yes/No decision making process. The consideration discussion may be brief or in-depth, but the process solely considers the adoption or rejection of the idea.

This article offers a more expansive, and perhaps even best practice approach, that I call the True Choice Decision Making Process.

Generating ideas and potential solutions is a creative process that should be encouraged in any business or organization. The following procedure facilitates a conscious and comprehensive assessment of all ideas presented beyond the “thinking out loud” stage.

Applying this procedure guides and informs “True Choice” that transcends the simple “Yes/No” process. Funneling ideas through these six steps helps manage an organization’s decisions by creating an efficient flow of direction and continuity.

Step One: IDENTIFY THE NEED

  • What need will be fulfilled by the adoption of this idea? (i.e. what problem will it solve?)
  • Clearly identify the need and put it into a succinct written statement.

Step Two: BRAINSTORM

  • What other options or ideas could also satisfy the identified need?
  • Create a list of as many options or avenues as possible.

Step Three: CONTINUITY

  • Will adopting this idea contradict any previous decisions?
  • Will adopting this idea fit within the current direction of the specific project and overall mission of the organization?
  • If the answer to question #2 is no, don’t dismiss the idea too quickly. If it involves a change in direction, consider it within that context. A separate meeting may be necessary for its consideration.
  • Are there any other continuity issues to consider while assessing this idea?

Step Four: PRE-DECISION

  • With the information gathered in Steps 1 through 3, is there enough information and clarity to continue consideration of this idea?

Step Five: TENTATIVE ADOPTION

  • If the previous four steps have been followed and the decision-makers feel the idea is indeed the best solution to the identified need or problem, the decision can be adopted tentatively.

Step Six: DISCERNMENT PROCESS/ FINAL DECISION

  • In this final stage of deciding to adopt the original idea, the decision-makers can participate in whatever research or discussions they feel necessary to make an informed, conscious decision.
  • Simplifying aspects or adding addendums and other fine-tuning can produce the final optimal decision. The True Choice decision.

At any phase in this process it may become clear that the original idea is not the best way to address the identified need and that while the idea sounds appealing, it may be a distraction or diversion from the forward movement of the project or organization.

What decisions are facing you today, that can be funneled through this process?

Relationship with Decision Making: Part One

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Do you have a conscious, intentional procedure for making decisions? Or do you respond to issues as they get in your face?

How do you make decisions about the day-to-day issues that confront your business? How do you tackle large decisions that your company faces as part of the big picture?

Do you clearly identify your problems or challenges and then systematically proceed through a pre-determined process that leads you to the optimal solution?

Most of us haven’t “learned” a specific effective decision-making process. A common practice that I often see in companies, organizations and my individual coaching clients, is the use of what I call the “Yes/No Decision Process.”

This process may be born out of an identified need, but more often it is presented by an organizational insider or outsider who has a “great idea” for the organization or an individual. With the “Yes/No” decision model, an idea is presented, given consideration by one or more people, and then is either adopted or rejected. Make sense? It certainly sounds like a solid model that involves in-depth review of an idea before any decision is made.

You might make perfectly fine decisions using this procedure. But are you making your best decisions?

With the Yes/No Model you are following a dualistic paradigm where you are limited to two choices: saying yes to an idea or saying no to an idea. If you are an analytical thinker you might even tweak the original idea to improve it before you adopt it. Kudos to you for refining the idea to better solve your problem.

But let’s take a closer look at this process. One of the biggest downfalls is that you can easily be swayed if the idea is pitched by a passionate, articulate person who is invested in you adopting their idea. And indeed the idea may be a great one, but it’s easy to have a blind spot without a more comprehensive process. You might end up choosing a new health plan provider, a procedure, a job candidate, a marketing consultant, a change of direction for your business, etc….that is not your best choice. And unfortunately you may never know it or may not find out till it’s too late to change course.

I have seen this happen time and time again. An idea is skillfully pitched by a charismatic “believer” who may be an associate, a stranger, a website or even yourself! What happens is that on the receiving end of the presentation, you get convinced of the merits and benefits of the idea. You will likely even weigh the pros and cons and therefore feel you’ve made a wise decision. You get excited about it. You buy in and become invested in adopting it.

There’s only one problem. We often get emotionally caught up in the romance of what the idea promises (just as we can in a new intimate relationship). This emotional attachment can cloud your vision. And, unless you fully revisit the original problem this idea proposes to solve and look through a wider lens, you will never know if you could have met the challenge more efficiently, effectively or at a lower cost for equivalent value.

In other words if you did not consider a wider range of options, there was no True Choice.

My next post will explain the concept of True Choice in detail and describe the step-by-step process that assures it.

(Here’s my pitch – but it’s for sure your best idea!)…
To make sure you get the scoop about True Choice in the next article published on this blog, take a moment to subscribe to the RSS Feed or by email at the top right column of this page.

In the meantime, pay attention to how you make your small and large business decisions. I’d love to hear the specifics of your current process. Leave a comment below to share your process.

Thanks!

Your Relationship with Your Inner Knowing

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Do you get flash insights of actions to take that seem to come out of nowhere? Perhaps they are minute hunches or urges that feel odd in the moment but are compelling just the same. Do you act on them?

I remember once driving past an office supply store in an unfamiliar neighborhood and thinking to myself “Oh, I think I’ll stop there to buy X.” – so I pulled in the lot and while in the store looking for X, I found Y, which was something I needed to solve a particular dilemma that I had forgotten about.  Today, I don’t even remember the X and Y products. But what I do remember with great clarity, is the power of that instance of following the inner guidance that convinced me to go into the store.

Since then I have had zillions of those experiences and I try to remain open to receiving them more and more. They continue to amaze me and when I allow them, my life flows with ease.

I had one of those experiences after publishing my very first post on this blog last week. I am quite a thorough controller planner, so I had indeed devised a plan to get a few “good” blog posts under my belt and then somehow get my top mentor, Chris Brogan to read it. My plan was to try to add him to my LinkedIn network with the hope that he would get wind of my blog.

For those who don’t know of Chris Brogan, he is a marketing and social media genius and one of the world’s top bloggers. Check out his book Trust Agents (disclosure: this is an affiliate link, so I make a buck if you decide to purchase it after checking it out on amazon)

Back to the story of the night I launched my blog…
I didn’t follow my plan. Why? Because a flash of a better plan came to me….
I trusted it; I decided I would allow the possibility of it; I mustered the courage; and I acted on it.

My original plan paled in comparison to my spark of inspiration that took me where I didn’t expect to go – out on a limb to ask for something…something big.

I not only got what I asked for, but I got far more that I could have imagined! I am a follower of Chris Brogan on Twitter and being the kind of open and generous guy that he is, he followed me back. I took a chance and sent him a direct message through Twitter asking him to “make my day” by commenting on the blog I had launched that day. Not only did he read my blog and comment…but he was the very first person to do so!

And if that was not enough, he sent a tweet to over 95,000 of his followers welcoming me to blogging, along with a link to my blog. Can you say “dream come true?”

Actually, it was beyond what I could have ever dreamed! That’s the beauty of this phenomenon. When we are receptive and follow the inner guidance; when we ask for something – we often get so much more than we asked for or expected. Even if I would have tried to “plan” that specific scenario, I know I could not have orchestrated the timing and perfection of it. Only the alignment of intention and openness could accomplish that.

Here’s the Process:

  • Open to the bigger-than-your-intellectual-self guidance that is available (this means trust what we often call “intuition”)
  • Run it through your brain cells just long enough to assess that it’s not too “out there” or truly dangerous
  • Accept the guidance presented (even if it’s not part of your plan)
  • Get okay with asking, doing, etc. (especially asking)
  • Take the ction
  • Fasten your seatbelt
  • Dance a jig!

What is your experience with following (or not following) your inner guidance?  What business benefits have you experienced when you followed an out-of-the-blue hunch?

I’d love to hear your stories.