Monthly Archives: March 2011

Are you in the Witness Protection Program? (Your Facebook profile said so)

By Gail Z. Martin

Have you ever gone out to someone’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile only to find a gray outline instead of a photo?  That image always reminds me of the people you see on the news who are only shown in profile because they’ve ratted on organized crime and fear for their lives.  They’re anonymous because they’re in the Witness Protection Program and they don’t want to be identified.

Those people have a reason to hide, but if you’re on social media for business, you don’t have any excuse.  The truth is that people like to do business with people—not with companies, web sites or products.  Customers want to meet you out there on Facebook and other sites.  They don’t want a photo of your dog or a creative snapshot.  They want to get to know a real, live person well enough to trust that person (you) with their money.

Getting to know someone before making a purchase is one way buyers decrease decision risk. That’s why it’s so important to have your photo on your social media profile, and why it’s a great idea to use web audio and video to give even more of a sense of who you are.  Your prospect may never meet you in person, but a photo, audio and video can go a long way toward creating a sense of trust and confidence.

Make a commitment to completing your profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media pages with a current professional photo and complete business information.  You’ll be glad you did!

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Social Media

Use Article Writing to Be Recognized as An Expert and Attract Clients

By Caterina Rando, M.A., MCC

In today’s marketplace, any potential client can go online, type in two or three keywords, into a search engine and immediately review a lifetime supply of vendors anxious to fill their requests. So how do you standout in a crowded marketplace? By using writing, speaking, video and other ways of getting your message out there. Let’s focus her on how to get content for writing articles to grow your business.

Write Your Way to More Success

Writing about your area of expertise is a highly effectively draw new clients and opportunities to you. All you have to do is sit down and write. Writing is a valuable marketing tool because people keep information. You may be called by potential clients weeks, months or even years after an article sees print because they kept the article you wrote. Write about the topics and issues that answer the challenges your potential clients have and watch your phone begin to ring. Next are a few tips for using writing effectively to build your business.

  • Pay attention to your clients. Listen to questions your clients ask and identify the issues they want addressed. What challenges are your clients having? What challenges are plaguing the industry? What innovations are you hearing about? These are all great things to write about. Keep a list, and when you are ready to write, review it for ideas.
  • Start with quick tips. Start by writing a helpful list of something that you know about but your clients might not. I call these “quick tip sheets.” A couple examples are “Twenty Quick Tips to Organize Your Office” or “10 Ways to Feel Better in Five Days.”
  • Turn It into an article. To turn a quick tip sheet into an article, write an explanation or an example beneath each quick tip. Add an opening paragraph that states what problem your article solves, then add a paragraph at the bottom that tells the reader to apply what they have read–and you have a completed article.
  • Add a benefit-focused title. Do not try to be too clever with your titles. Just tell the reader what to expect from reading your article. “Secrets,” “strategies,” “solutions” are all good words to include in a title For example, “Seven Secrets to Look Ten Years Younger” or “Ten Often Overlooked Solutions for Saving Money.”
  • Remember the resource box. The most important part of the article is the resource box at the bottom where you say who you are, what you do and how people can contact you. Include a compelling reason for them to connect with you. For example, have them go to your website to download your free copy of an e-book or listen to your podcast with more tips.
  • Edit it. Have a professional editor review your articles once they are written. You want to be confident everything you send out is accurate.
  • Use articles over and over. Once you write an article or a quick tip sheet, use it again. Send it to other publications that might be interested in it, members of the media, email it to current clients and potential clients with a cover letter that says, “In case you missed my article in XYZ publication, here is a copy for you.” Of course post your articles on your website, post a link to those articles on your social networking sites and post all or part of your articles on your blog depending on length.

Marketing your business and establishing your expertise go hand-in-hand. People want to do business with the best, and you can use tele-classes, podcasts, speaking and writing to tell the world you are the best. Choose one of these four tools that you not currently using to start with and make it part of your marketing plan and watch your success soar.

This blog post is adapted from Incredible Business, from Thrive Publishing™ 2010,

Caterina Rando shows entrepreneurs how to build thriving businesses. She is a sought after speaker, expert building strategist and publisher and co-author of Incredible Business. To get your free e-book on Twenty Ways to Grow Your Business with Ease visit To find out about getting published visit

You can listen to the audio from when Caterina was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here:

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Marketing

Building trust through C’s

By Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

As we all prepare our plans for second quarter, I thought this might be a good time to think about the essence of personal marketing.  Since marketing is about relationship, here are eight key areas to think about as you build trust into those relationships:
What are the top three character traits you look for to build trust in business relationships?

  • Clarity (People trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous)
  • Compassion (People put faith in those who care beyond themselves)
  • Character (People notice those who do what is right over what is easy)
  • Competency (People have confidence in those who stay fresh, relevant and capable)
  • Commitment (People believe in those who stand through adversity)
  • Connection (People want to follow, buy from, and be around friends)
  • Contribution (People immediately respond to results)
  • Consistency (People love to see the little things done consistently)

Happy Spring to you all as you set those intentions for Spring.  Let us know what characteristics are important to you….

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Filed under Image & Identity, Intentions, Marketing, Sheryl Eldene

Intuition and Social Media

By Gail Z. Martin

Does it seem strange to talk about something as high tech as social media in the same breath as something as “woo-woo” as intuition?  It shouldn’t.  I believe that intuition  is part of everything we do—if we listen for it.  Intuition is definitely part of business, although men like to call it “having a hunch” or “going with your gut.”  Women are often afraid to speak about intuition in business settings at all for fear of looking soft on metrics.  But our fear of speaking about or acknowledging intuition doesn’t make it less real.

How does intuition play into social media?  Have you ever had  a “hunch” that you should (or shouldn’t) talk about a certain topic?  Ever felt like something was pushing you to comment right now on a topic?  Have you ever thought about a friend or colleague and opened Facebook only to find a new post or message from that very person?  Better yet, have you ever felt internally pushed to contact someone you hadn’t talked to in a long time, only to discover they had the key to a problem you were trying to solve?

All those factors play into our social media presence.  Do you have an inkling that a certain topic would be hot with your readers?  Run with it.  Something in the back of your mind tell you not to weigh in on a popular subject?  Better listen.  Feel drawn to answer a particular question on a forum board or recommend a person you haven’t seen for a while on LinkedIn?  Do it!

Social media is just a large-scale, virtual model of the water cooler or small town grocery store where everyone gathers for news.  Don’t be afraid to let your intuition guide your conversation when you interact online, in the same way it should be prompting and prodding you when you meet with people face to face.  You might be surprised at the results!

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Intuition, Social Media

Apply sales techniques to all endeavors to skyrocket your results

by Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC
International Speaker and Author

On the occasion you have ever been disappointed that others did not understand your viewpoint or grant your request, you should give thought to learning sales techniques that work to your favor for obtaining the right job or the preferred clientele.  Most people unfortunately view sales as unethical.

My advice to overcome this negative perception is to view sales as simply making friends whether it is the hiring manager or your next prospect.  Work to build relationships and put the interests of the other person first.  As you build trust and confidence in you, the next step is finding commonality between you and the other party.  You are now getting the idea that the low key and earnest sales approach works best.

The next tip is to grow your business exponentially and by that I use the concept of the Power of 10.  For every service or product you offer or interview you go on, try to multiply each by 10 to find amazing results.  For example, 3 services multiplied by 3 x 2 x 1 equals 6 possible audiences.  When you multiply 10 x 9 x 8 etc. the calculations comes to 3.6 million plus!

Using my own advice, I began with sales training.  Next came business coaching and the Smooth Sale product line followed by my writing Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks.  The book translated into several languages, was featured in TIME Magazine and grew into an International Best Seller.

My speaking practice grew, my website was overhauled and a blog was implemented.  Interviews came my way.  Community service was always a piece of my business designed to help job seekers understand how to sell themselves on interviews.  My good deeds were rewarded with the realization that it was time to write, HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press.

HIRED! provided a new venue for me to work with colleges.   College bookstores are carrying both books, and I am speaking to the student body, alumni, and training local communities along with the students.  Both media attention and sales attraction techniques on social media are helping to sell many more copies.

Given my books are successful, I have begun teaching others How to Write A Book and Sell More Copies Online in addition to providing the traditional sales training and how to build business exponentially.  I plan to write more business books and love providing motivational keynotes at conferences.

As you can see one venue develops into the next.  There are always setbacks.  But when you make a commitment to continual education and perseverance (the salesperson’s motto) your opportunity for success increases greatly and you soon experience the Smooth Sale!

You can listen to the audio from when Elinor was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here:

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Sales

“WHY is so yesterday, but What?” said the Cheshire cat

By Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA, PCC

Recently, I heard someone ask the question, “What would you attempt to do if you knew that you couldn’t fail?”

I LOVE questions because when you ask a question, you MUST give yourself an answer. It’s not negotiable. As that question kicks around in your head – you inevitably decide on the answer.

The problems come when you ask yourself the wrong question. What’s the wrong question? WHY IS THE WRONG QUESTION.

WHY will inevitably take you to a place of self judgement – so let go of that one. It doesn’t matter WHY. It is probably way too late to fix WHY anyway.

  • Why should I care?
  • Why haven’t I done this already?
  • Why is this taking so long?
  • Why can others accomplish this goal, and I’m have such a hard time?
  • Why doesn’t anyone help me?
  • Why doesn’t my partner support me?………

So let’s get back to WHAT would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Do you remember your dreams when you were little? One of my dreams was to be a surgeon! Later, I decided I wanted to be Homecoming Queen! When I was little, everything seemed possible. As children, we are natural masters at the Law of Attraction. Remember allowing your dreams to expand and fill your days with wonder? I lived in a neighborhood where there was a lot of home construction going on. My friends and I spent hours in those open building pretending that we were queens, presidents, big wig bosses and we’d act out all those dreams. I even had the lingo, the walk, the imagined wardrobe – enormous clarity around my dream.

My dreams of surgeon and Queen went away not due to lack of crystal clarity, but the failure to marry those dreams to action plans. Of course, I forgive my eight year old self for not creating an action plan toward medical school and my ten year old self for not having a clue how to become a queen.

Today I’m older and wiser. My dream of connecting my newest published book to those thousands of people who are looking for that wisdom is very clear, as is my action plan toward that vision. Here’s some questions that might help you turn your wonderful dreams into reality:

  1. What is my goal?
  2. What is my plan?
  3. What will I do today to get inspired?
  4. What specific steps will I take today toward that goal?
  5. What am I willing to do today, assuming I will be successful?
  6. How will I reward myself today for staying with my plan?

Add your voice the the conversation, what will you do today to get inspired?

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Filed under Business Planning, Intentions, Sheryl Eldene

How are those resolutions coming?

By Gail Z. Martin

Do you remember what your New Year resolutions were?  Have you given up on them, or are you still trying to make them happen?  Two of my resolutions included losing some weight and scheduling more speaking engagements.  Both are coming along, although the speaking part is happening a little faster.  And as I head back on the road with out-of-town presentations, I’m realizing that increasing the speaking events has a definite impact on how easy it is to shave off some pounds, due to missed time at the gym and hotel/airport food.  The good news is, at a recent convention I teamed up with another artist friend to take long morning walks despite the cold, and we kept each other honest on the dinner buffet.  I’ve gotten better at finding healthy options at airports, and I’m not as likely to just eat whatever’s easiest at a reception.

In other words, I’m making progress even though it’s not big and flashy.  I talk a lot about my Rule of 30 in my 30 Days to Social Media Success book.  The Rule of 30 days that any action you repeat 30 times begins to create impact.  The action doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be targeted and repeated.  So….making connections to land new speaking engagements count toward my Rule of 30.  Every time I make a better food choice and pass up a not-so-good choice, it’s part of that Rule of 30.

Sometimes it’s hard to see how the little things add up.  But the truth is, most of the time little things are all we can do in the short term.  There are very few opportunities to make huge sweeping changes in life, business or world politics.  On the other hand, history proves that small actions can lead to amazing changes.

How will you apply the Rule of 30 to your New Year’s resolutions?

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Filed under Coaching, Gail Z. Martin

Finding Time to Write

by Mindy Gibbins-Klein

Are you finding enough time to write?  Most people don’t.  Over many years of coaching aspiring authors, I have heard all kinds of excuses, but it all boils down to one idea: you need to make time for your writing.  Notice that I said make time, not find time.  You won’t find any time anywhere.  You need to consciously carve that time out of your busy schedule to ensure you deliver your book.

Successful authors treat their writing seriously, like the business project it is.  They make sacrifices and make it a priority so that it actually happens.  You may need to get up early or stay up later for the duration of your book project.  You may do well setting aside 3-hour chunks of time before, during or after the business day and even at weekends.  I don’t recommend spending more than 3-4 hours at a time on the writing because you will become less effective and all the other things you have to do will be mounting up the whole time.  But do put the exact times in your calendar.  Don’t leave it to chance and don’t add “write book” to an already full “to do” list.  That will just create pressure and stress which won’t help your flow.

You may find you need to skip business or social gatherings that are not absolutely critical.  You may need to explain to family and friends that your book is a top priority and other things have to go on the back-burner.

Books don’t write themselves.  In my experience, with the right level of planning and focus, you can write a full-length non-fiction book in about 100 hours.  The problem is most people do not set aside the 100 hours to make it happen.

Mindy Gibbins-Klein is best known as founder of The Book Midwife and founder/director of Ecademy Press business publishing.  She works with aspiring authors to guide them all the way through the planning and writing process, ideally starting before they even write one word.

She is an international speaker, trainer and consultant with 20 years of marketing, training and coaching experience, and over 300 clients who have written and published excellent books quickly using the Book Midwife methodology.

You can listen to the audio from when Mindy was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here:

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Filed under Business Planning, Guest Blogger

Following your Bliss or your Blisters?

By Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA,

As you prepare your second quarter action plans, now might be a good time to observe if those plans represent a desire to follow your bliss or your blisters. Here are four tips to consider:

  1. Is that action step a reaction to a first quarter problem? If so, excellent, the business can continue to improve by evaluating what isn’t working and changing a policy, a practice, or an attitude that is detracting from your goals.
  2. Is that action step aligned with your annual goal? If so, excellent, your job as the Chief Operating Officer of your business is to keep your eye on the big annual goal and to make sure that those weekly, monthly, and quarterly action steps will take you to that objective.
  3. Is that action step aligned with you Big Dream? If so, excellent, your job as Chief Executive Officer is to set the mission and vision of your company and be sure that your company continues to be a picture your original vision.
  4. As you think about your second quarter, are you mostly a step one, a step two, or a step three. It is very easy, as an owner of a small business, to live in the put-out-fire zone(stage one), visit the COO zone(stage two), and forget the CEO zone(stage three).
    • Try setting the tone for each quarter with a week-end retreat to get back in touch with your mission and your own deeply held values and WHY for doing what you do.
    • Plan a week annual retreat to set the tone, mission, and vision for each year
    • Use your coach as a means to regularly check in on all three levels and keep yourself on track.

May you always follow your bliss, and treat those blisters – and let us know how are those second quarter plans coming.

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Filed under Business Planning, Sheryl Eldene, Uncategorized


<div class=\"postavatar\">Civility</div>

by Gail Z. Martin

The whole civility topic has stayed with me.  All the anger spewed by talk radio and politicians, and all the fear that makes for news show ratings is making us sick—and I mean that literally.

We know that stress is a big contributor to disease.  Stress contributes to cancer, heart disease, inflammatory conditions, auto-immune disorders, sleep problems, overeating, substance abuse and domestic violence.  Life has unavoidable stresses, but we can choose to eliminate the phony ones by refusing to listen to radio and TV personalities shout at each other, by withdrawing support when politicians act like middle school bullies, and by being watchful of the tone of the conversation that is allowed in our minds and in our homes.

What does this have to do with marketing and business?  Everything.  When people are afraid, they spend less money on goods and services.  Businesses horde extra cash instead of hiring, “just in case.”  Investors pull out of markets.  Lenders refuse to lend.  It’s all based on a mindset of scarcity, the fear that there isn’t enough to go around.

What happens if we change the channel?  What happens when we focus on gratitude instead of fear, on building instead of scarcity?  It changes everything—personally and in business.

When you focus on gratitude, your intuition will feel like the volume has been turned up.  Suddenly, you’re highly receptive to other people—and they’re receptive to you.  Your intuition seems to speak to you more often when your mind isn’t blocked by anger and fear.  You’ll see new business opportunities, forge new partnerships and take risks to grow.  Not only that, but a business approach based on gratitude (with some intuitive hints along the way) will make you attractive to people who see you as an oasis of calm and confidence.

What are you grateful for in the New Year?  In your business?

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Intentions, Personal Transitions