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!

12 Professional Accessories for Successful Speakers

Confident Businesswoman

 

  1. Your Market: Once you have a firm overview of your company, you need to begin to define your customer or, as a speaker, your audience. Too often, the temptation is to speak on subjects that appeal to us. That is all well and good but if there is no audience for our material, then we are speaking for an audience of one. Instead, our goal as speakers is to create a marriage between the needs of our audience and our expertise. We always want to tailor our message to meet the needs of our audience. In order to do this, we must have a thorough an understanding of our audience as we possibly can.
  2. Your Mission: You might wonder why a mission statement is important. Well, your mission statement helps keep you focused. As you add topics and products to sell on your product table, you always want to refer to your mission statement to guide your decisions and keep you on track.
  3. Your Philosophy: Your philosophy takes into consideration what motivates your audience. For you to improve the quality of their lives you need to have a firm idea why they would want to attend your presentations. You want to approach your speaking and business from their perspective. Once you have an idea what they want, you need to show them how your presentations meet their needs. Remember, features tell, benefits sell.
  4. Your Topics: Developing a topic list cam be a daunting task. Unfortunately, most of the stress is caused when we overload our topic list. Be clearly defining your market, determining exactly what information you have to offer that market and then narrowing your niche, you can create a focused topic list that defines your mission, presentations and expertise.
  5. Your Ambitions: You went into business for a reason. Your reason is personal and it should be powerful. Your mission gives you a professional statement that tells the public the purpose of your business. It might motivate you but it is not as personal as your ambition. You want to have a firm idea what your ambition is. What do you want to accomplish? How far do you want to go? How often do you want to speak each month? How far are you willing to travel on business? Do you want to improve your family finances, buy a new car, buy a house? Your ambition is your personal mission that helps you maintain your positive attitude.
  6. Your Goals: While your ambition motivates you, it can be somewhat vague or worse still, far away. Your goals are the tangible steps you take to achieve your ambition. You might have just one ambition but multiple goals to take you to your ambition. You can have goals and then mini-goals, those smaller steps you take every day to move you forward.
  7. Your Business: A professional attitude is a must-have accessory for your success. Some speakers are only interested in a part time job, treating their business like a hobby. There is nothing wrong with that. Some women only want a bit of extra money. You are different. You are a Diva and you want to accomplish more than that. It is necessary for you to run your business like… well, a business. What you do is no less a business than your friend who opened a small store.
  8. Your Attitude: In business, it isn’t always a walk in the park. Things slow down. You struggle to get bookings. Nothing seems to bring you results. Doesn’t matter. You must maintain a positive attitude, an attitude of success. You must always convince yourself that there are opportunities that you have not found. Get busy and find them. Keep moving forward, even a little bit, day by day.
  9. Your Network: It is not who you know but who they know and then who those people know. If you limit your network, you limit the number of people you are able to reach. If you limit your network, you limit the outreach of your message. Your network is a living entity because it is made up of living people. You must nurture it and encourage it to grow. It must be in constant motion or it becomes stagnant and will soon lose its effectiveness. Everything you do when you walk out the door is marketing; everyone you meet is networking. Don’t like networking? Remember your one woman. You cannot reach her, you cannot accomplish your mission without a strong (and growing) network.
  10. Your Support Materials: You have made a decision to become an author/speaker because you have a message you want to share and feel there are women who need to hear it. Marketing is how you let them know who you are, what you do and why you are different from others who do the same thing.
  11. Your Appearance: All of us have days when we just need to run to the store and don’t want to take time to change clothes, put on make-up and fix our hair. All of us need to fight this urge with every fiber of our being. Every time you walk out the door, you have the opportunity to make a connection with a woman who needs to improve the quality of her life. She needs to look at you and know you are someone she wants to know. Better still, she wants to be like you. If she is able to relate to you, she will want to know you better. So, how do you control the urge? Get in the habit of getting ready for work first thing in the morning. When you worked outside the home, you managed to get ready every morning so why should things be different now?
  12. Synergy: Synergy is the theory that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We have all heard this statement made but few use this theory to effectively run their businesses. As an author and speaker, synergy is vital to the effective organization and implementation of your business. It is too easy to have a business made of various separate parts, each trying vainly to operate independently of the other parts. Having a business made up of individual parts working independently of each other is exhausting. Synergy helps you bring all aspects of your business together so they support one another and build one another.

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 Effectively Share a Message Step 5: Create a Digital/Print Book

You created a booklet & began offering it on your website & on your product table during presentations. The response has been great. People are reading the material & asking questions, making comments. You have been doing research, open to more information on the topic. You add to your notebook containing material on this message. After careful consideration, you decide it’s time to create a full book.

Start Digitally

There is no better feeling for an author than holding a print copy of their book in their hands. It’s also great walking into a bookstore & find their book on the shelf. As desirable as these two experiences are, I want to strongly recommend you not rush into having a print book, whether you self-publish or sign a contract with a publishing house. The first thing you want to do is go digital.

A digital book enables you to write a full-sized book without the expense of printing. Printing is very expensive. Also, printing is final, more or less. Digital books offer you flexibility.

Digital Flexibility

No matter how many times you go over your manuscript, you ALWAYS find things you want to change after your book has been printed. New information becomes available. You think of things you want to add. You don’t like the way you worded certain things. You might be able to eventually make changes in your book should it ever be considered for a revised edition. Or you just might have to live with those desired changes.

Or, you release your book in a digital format first, giving you the opportunity to make any changes you want to make before the manuscript goes into print. You are even able to take a different approach to the material at this point. A message that worked well all the way up to a booklet may begin to break down once you expand it into a book. The digital book causes flaws to rise to the surface BEFORE you commit the material to print. A digital book can be your best friend, your most powerful tool in this entire process. It can save you the heartburn of struggling with a print book

Now You Can Print

Once you have the manuscript as close to perfect as you can get it (you will never be COMPLETELY satisfied), you are ready to create print copies. Now, I have strong opinions about whether authors should find a publisher or self-publish. I am not, however, going make my case one way or the other in this post.

If you decide to go with a publisher, you should begin the process early on. You might find a publisher when you first develop the idea. Or you might need to show the popularity of your message by offering sales #’s to potential publishers.

If you decide to self-publisher, there are so many more options than when I had my first book published. In addition, self-published books get more respect today than they did even 10 years ago.

You really need to do your homework to determine which option is better for you & your book. Which ever option you choose, remember, the success of your book always rests in your hands!

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.