Today’s Featured Digital Book: Accessorize Your Life

Accessorize Your Life

The little black dress is a fabulous addition to your wardrobe. In it, you to fit in with other people in any situation yet its style allows you to express your individuality. Add accessories to the little black dress and you have a difference that makes you stand out.

Being like Jesus is exactly the same. We want to fit in with other people in a variety of situations while still maintaining our individuality. What gives us that difference are 10 accessories, qualities that made Jesus like everyone else but different. What are those accessories and how can you incorporate them into your life?

Accessorize Your Life: Discovering 10 Qualities to Create Life with a Difference helps you develop a selection of the 10 qualities through a 10 lesson Bible study. Each lesson offers a Scripture verse that exemplifies the quality, introduction and questions to help you better understand the quality and incorporate it into your life.

Accessorize Your Life may be done as an individual study or in a group. It contains a Leader Guide to help you set up your own Bible Study group.

Enjoy a positive and powerful difference in your life when you “put on” a selection of accessories with the Christ-like difference. Only $3

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The 6 No-no’s of Successful Delegation Part 1: Never Do It Yourself

Congratulations! You have been asked to lead your organization. Or you volunteered to chair your group’s fundraiser or special event. Whatever it might be, you find yourself in a leadership position, perhaps for the first time. You want everything to go great. After all, you ARE in charge!

True but in order to have a great year at the head of an organization or a successful event, you must rely on other people, particularly volunteers. And this is where many first time (or even long time) leaders run into trouble! Not a problem! Jean Ann is here to help you avoid a few of the pitfalls that have sabotaged many a leader! And the easiest way to do this is by showing you 6 things you should NEVER, EVER do! I’m breaking this down into 6 parts so you can comment or ask questions specific to each No No! Ready? Let’s Begin!

 

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NEVER Do It Yourself

 

This does not mean you shouldn’t do any of the work yourself. However, it has been my experience that new leaders often have problems recruiting help so they end up doing much of the work themselves. This is a very, very bad idea!

I recently attended a planning meeting for a large fundraiser being held at my church. One of the chairwomen from the women’s ministry was chairing the meeting. As the discussion went on, I realized she wasn’t chairing the meeting as the head of the women’s group. She was chairing it as the person in charge of the event. I finally asked her outright who was chairing the event. “I am,” she told me. Seems no one else would volunteer to do it.

This is a problem. The chair of an organization must be able to focus on multiple elements of the organization. If she must also chair one of the major activities of the group, it diverts her focus from the whole. The best way I can put it is this: when the first chair in the brass section of the orchestra calls in sick, the conductor never takes their place. The conductor’s job is to oversee the whole. Taking an active role in a part of that whole weakens their ability to smoothly orchestrate the group. The same is true when you are chairing an event. You must be able to focus on the whole by not getting caught up in a part.

One word of warning: One of the greatest pitfalls of doing it yourself is finding volunteers to do other tasks. Once members see you are willing to take over anything left undone, you may find yourself doing it ALL! This is a quick & painful path to failure. In order for an organization  to succeed or an event to flourish, everyone must do their part. As the leader, your part is to encourage & equip those overseeing all the other aspects of your organization or event.

I know it can be tough. When no one wants to take over a task, it’s easy to step in. STOP! Rather than taking over the task, you must learn how to recruit volunteers. And for that, you must wait for Part 2!

8 Steps to Effectively Share your Message Step #8: Have Others Share Your Message

 

I had thought of calling this step Get Someone Else to Do It but decided to be more tactful. It is however, your goal.

My favorite part of Tom Sawyer is when Tom is told to paint a fence & he motivates other boys to do it for him. What an incredible example of leadership! It’s a hot dirty job & he manages to make it look inviting, so inviting the other boys BEG him to let them do the job!

An Inventive & Effective Leader

This is clever on so many levels. First, Tom knew exactly who he needed to recruit for the job at hand. Second, he made a dirty job look good. Tom gave those boys a vision of the mind-numbing job of fence painting look so good they BEGGED to do it for him! Third, while it would have take Tom alone a long time to finish painting the fence, the group of boys churned it out in no time. Dividing up the work assigned to 1 person among a group people made the task easier & quicker to accomplish. Fourth, while Tom had to get the ball rolling, beginning the painting himself, once he recruited others to help out, Tome was able to sit back & let the work continue without his help.

Following Tom’s Example

Now, I know Tom Sawyer is not used as an example of effective leadership, although perhaps he should be. You can however, learn a lot from Tom’s example, discovering ways to promote & share your message by getting others to do it for you.

Recruit the Right People

First, you have to determine who the right people are to recruit for the job. Look for bloggers, podcasters, etc that have a message that compliments yours. It might be on a topic you have considered using but felt it would pull you too far off your focus. This allows you to offer your market information you would like to create without having to spend the time researching & writing. Once you have found a few people, you want to recruit them to help you share your message with their audience.

Make It Look Good

Tom made a hot dirty job look good which encouraged the boys to ask to help. You need to made the job of sharing your message look good to others so they willingly offer to do it. How? By showing them what’s in it for them. You want to create a partnership with them that is mutually beneficial. Contact them & ask if you can share their site, material, broadcasts, etc with your audience. If you have a podcast, ask about interviewing them. When you post the material, be sure to send them the link. I like working with women that are just starting out. They are so excited for the exposure & I like helping them. When the article, post, program is available, they share the link with EVERYONE THEY KNOW! This drives new people to your material. Be sure to provide links to your other resources so visitors can learn more about you.

You can also share links to their sites on your site in exchange for them doing the same for you. Or share their book, program whatever in exchange for doing it for you. This is all mutually beneficial.

Many Hands Make Light Work

Finding the right people & sharing their material or interviewing them takes time. Eventually though, it makes less work for you. The more people you help, the more people you are able to reach. Tom could have recruited 1-2 boys to paint for him. Instead, he recruited a group that should have been able to knock the job out in no time. It took time for him to recruit that many boys but it paid off in the long run. It will take time for you to recruit the right people but it pays off in the long run. The people you help drive a new audience to your sites without you spending any money. You must simply invest the time at first.

Finally, They Come to You

After Tom had recruited a few boys to paint, I imagine other boys began to show up ASKING if they could paint too. tom would no long need to recruit helpers. They would come to him, wanting to participate.

The same thing will happen to you. At first, you will need to find people whose material you can promote. You will need to keep doing it day after day. Eventually, however, you will reach the tipping point where the process takes on a life of its own. It happens slowly at first. Just one person here & there asking you to share their message. Drip, drip, drip until the rush begins. Soon, your mailbox is filled with people asking to be interviewed, wanting you to share their book, seeking to have you promote their site.

At this point, like Tom, you can sit back & watch the work continue without any effort on your part. Well, almost. You still have work to do. However, your listeners, subscribers, numbers continue to grow without any effort on your part. All you need to do is help other people & continue to create new content. Not bad, huh?

In Conclusion

So, there you have it. It takes time to go through the entire process. Not every message will need the entire process. Let’s face it, not every blog post can be turned into a book! You can, however, follow the steps as far as each topic takes you. This systematic way of building on your message saves you time & helps you focus & grow your brand with less stress & greater success!

8 Steps to Effectively Share a Message Step 6: Produce Podcasts/Videos

Developing a personal connection with people in your audience helps promote your message. People like to buy from someone they know. When they feel they have gotten to know you, they want to learn more, either through other material you have created or by buying your books. A podcast & videos are a great way for people to get to know you.

Look at Me!

When I first began writing, I wanted a radio show & my own television show. I was THRILLED when the internet made all this possible & at no cost! Oh, I’ve spent money on these things over the years but I have found through trial & error that the free platforms work just fine for my purposes.

Short is Very Sweet

When I began my first podcast, I wanted to offer a 30 minute program once a week. Mr. D, my hubby, advised me to keep it much, much shorter. At the time, a 30 minute program would have taken too long to download for most of my audience. In addition, most of them didn’t want to listen to a long program on their computer. So, I broke each 30 minute program into a 5 part series with each part only 5-6 minutes long. This length was perfect.

I have done longer programs over the years but I am currently going back to shorter program. Blog Talk Radio allows me to host a 15 minute program each day & it’s FREE. I can do it live or record it & upload. This is the perfect length for both me & my listeners.

Never Let it Overwhelm You

Videos can seem overwhelming but they don’t have to be. I often make movies out of slideshows. This enables viewers to stop the video & read a recipe or instructions.

I also like doing short videos, short like my podcast. There are so many places where I can record & upload or do it live. YouTube has expanded to offer so many ways to produce & share your videos with your audience. You can create a series that focuses on your current topic, like when I produce videos for Thanksgiving. You can create playlists on each topic to make it easier for your viewers to find the videos they want to watch.

Share, Share, Share

Once you have produced & uploaded your podcast & videos, share them on your blog/website. You want to share them in as many places as possible. You also want to share your series links on the program info. ALWAYS share links to all the material for the series in each different format. Each post, podcast, booklet, book, etc should refer your audience to other formats.

Make all your materials work for you. This is the best way to make all that hard work pay off!

8 Steps to More Effectively Share a Message Step 4: Create a Booklet

You might believe this is an unnecessary step. You would be mistaken. A booklet serves many purposes in this process. Let’s see what some of them are:

Allows You to Expand Your Message

Your blog series should contain plenty of useful information. You never, however, want to put everything about a topic into any one piece of the process until you get to your book. And even then, you want to be able to refer readers to other formats, like a video or podcast, for even more information. Anyway, while your blog series is more detailed than the infographic, you should have more information to share. I find once I write my blog posts, I begin finding other information to support my message. Or people write comments that offer information or ask questions that help me see areas I need to further develop. A booklet allows you to do this.

Quick to Put Together

You might scoff at creating a booklet, preferring instead to wait until you complete a book. A full length book may take 6-12 months to complete. A booklet can be finished in a weekend. This doesn’t mean you simply throw it together. You always want to create a quality product. Some items, however, can be created in a shorter amount of time than others.

Easy to Giveaway

I always produce a digital version before I have a print version made. A digital version can contain hot links to your blog, your podcast, videos, social media & third party supporting information, like a book that adds on to your message. A digital booklet makes an excellent giveaway for people that subscribe to your mailing list. I just add the PDF to my website & make that the landing page.

A Quick New Item for Your Product Table

If you are really hot on your topic, you want to share it with people as quickly & easily as possible. A booklet allows you to have a physical product to sell when you do events. Your booklets may contain all the information some people want. They are also an inexpensive way for members of your audience to take a piece of you home with them at a low cost. When you do a bang-up job during a presentation, people like having a memento for lack of a better word, to take home with them. While books can be expensive, a booklet is usually only a few dollars. You may find your booklets are the best selling item on your product table.

It Is More Forgiving

There is nothing worse than spending months-years writing a book, having it printed only to discover all the changes you want to make. It’s always hard to let go of your book once you are done writing it. You always want to do MORE! I’m talking about major changes. Info you could have added. Mistakes. A booklet allows you to see where there are holes & gives you the opportunity to fix them. And at a much lower cost then a book. I only print a few booklets at a time so I can make revisions as necessary.

Now you can see how important a booklet is in this process. It is well worth the time & minor expense to produce a booklet, ensuring your future book is filled with even more valuable information than you thought possible.

8 Steps to More Effectively Share a Message Step 3: Develop a Blog Series

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Is the Subject Expandable?

Once I create an infographic, I like to create individual blog posts for each step. This enables those that want to get more information on the topic. It also enables ME to determine if I have enough material to write a book. If I can’t do a decent blog series, then I’ll never be able to come up with enough info to write a book.

A Path to Podcasts & Videos

The blog series also helps you begin the process of creating podcast & video material. I simply take the info from a blog post or series, add to it where necessary & go into production. Depending on the length of each post, I might do either one long program or break it down into smaller pieces just like the blog series. I learned early on to keep audio & video short to give my busy audience the opportunity to listen & watch. I can always put the segments together & make one long program. More on this later!

Design Graphics for Blog & Social Media

At this time, I also create the graphics I need for the blog series. You can see an example at the top of the page. In Canva, I design the first piece & then make copies for each additional post. This is also when I design graphics for social media. I want to share the blog posts in as many places as possible. Designing graphics for Twitter, Facebook & more gives my series a consistent look across the board. Canva offers templates for various platforms so this is easy to do.

Determine the Best Time to Post

I prefer to share the posts from a series M-F. This gives readers time to catch up on the weekend if necessary. I have also found that I have the most readers during the week for this type of post.

Developing a blog series from the steps on an infographic is a great way to expand on a good topic & discover other ways you can use the information across platforms & formats.