On the edge of my seat

I’m a bit like a cat on a hot tin roof.

Seriously, so far I have drunk 3 cups of coffee, munched my way through a chicken leg, an apple and a tub of yoghurt. If there was a bag of chips around I would have eaten those too!

Hanging out for the election results is nerve wracking!

I was Campaign Manager for Katrina Fong Lim who has once again run for the office of Lord Mayor.

Election Day was last Saturday and what a day it was.  Long, hot and exhausting but our team of volunteers smiled through it all despite, at times, challenging situations.

Overwhelmed to have such a diverse range of people all supporting Katrina. It speaks volumes for her standing in the community.

Vote Counting

When the votes were counted, Katrina was in the lead by 1307 votes. Not enough to be declared the winner as here in Australia we have a fully preferential system. First past the post is not enough.

This week the Electoral Commission has continued the counting.  Katrina is now 1408 votes ahead. But it is still not enough and the gap is not wide enough for my liking.

Nerve wracking to say the least!

The postal votes closed at noon today. More counting this afternoon and the Electoral Commission will update their website later today.

I am not sure when later today is and it’s driving me crackers!

Waiting for Results

I’ve been hitting the refresh button with regularity and watching the Facebook feed.

Nothing!

My phone keeps ringing with supporters wanting to know if there is an update.

Katrina has done the smart thing and headed off to Kakadu, so not in mobile contact range – maybe I should have done the same!

Will we know the final results today? I sincerely hope so.

But…. the official annoucment will be made by the Electoral Commssion at 10 am on Monday morning.

I hope my girl wins. I firmly believe she is the BEST for the job. We’ve run a very clean campaign. Our volunteers were courteous at all times and we never bagged other candidates who were running.

We chose not to make any preference deals because Katrina is independent. Her platform – practical, positive and independent – politics do not belong at Council level.

I am very proud to have been her Campaign Manager, and honoured she chose to work with me again this election.

Now…what can I eat next while I hit that refresh button again!

Michelle

 

 

The next big thing in marketing?

The next big thing in marketing may just be happening on LinkedIn.

In the digital age, everything happens super fast.

Why Video Marketing?

The demands on our time are excessive and often, immediate.

Which is understandable. In the digital age, everything happens super fast.

Could this be why video and live feeds rate so highly on social media
and are given preferential (at the moment) positioning by those platforms?

That means that e.g. the way Facebook sets its algorithms determines what you see on your newsfeed.

But we do our best to flag what’s going on to our networks.

Marketing via LinkedIn Video

For instance, did you know that LinkedIn is rolling out their video offering?

I got the heads up from a connection on that platform.

Another good example of how we can all help one another 😊.

Different Ponds for different marketing

It immediately occurred to me that I know of at least two SMEs who have fabulously successful businesses with business to consumer markets, and who, are positioning themselves to sell their businesses.

There’s another business ready to move to the next level and needs investors.

Suddenly, they need to be in a different pond to attract the right buyer/investor.

The business to business pond.

They’re more likely to find good leverage for their new goal from the LinkedIn network, than from Facebook business pages.

A lot of us are saying that LinkedIn has been slow coming to the visual party. Way behind Facebook for instance.

We all know how phenomenal Facebook Live has been for reaching and engaging target markets. But, hey LinkedIn, better late than never, right?

So far as Michelle and I are concerned, we strongly recommend that no one dismisses such new offerings.

You may not need it now. But like the businesses I’ve referred to, neither did they 12 months ago.

Now, it’s a whole new ball game.

You never know what the next opportunity might be! Or where, or from which platform.

So, it’s a really good idea, to maintain a presence across two or so key ones, and keep an eye on the others.

Here’s a great piece that explains what the LinkedIn offering will mean for businesses and for marketing those businesses:

LinkedIn’s new feature has the potential to be a game changer in B2B.

Fly like a dragon!

Yvonne

5 Simple Tips to Improve Your Writing

Do you love to write?

If you do, then you’re just like me!

If you don’t…. you’re not alone.

Whichever category you fall into, these 5 simple tips will help.

Before you take to writing that next piece of yours, whether it be a blog post or a business report, here are some quick tips to help you shine.

1) The Daily Habit

Get in the habit of writing each and every day; start a journal or a diary, write to a pen pal, just get yourself in the habit of writing.

It might seem like a lot of work but it isn’t.

*A really good way to practise this is to write 2 pages in a notebook each morning. Even though I am a writer,  I’ve just started utilising this tip that I learnt from a LinkedIn post and it is working wonders for me.

If you’re in business, the chances are you already writing every day. You might not think of it as writing, but no doubt you send off countless emails each day?

2) Broadening your vocabulary

Get a word calendar or download an app on your phone like Dictionary.com.

Putting new words into your vocabulary is a great way to make your writing more powerful.

Often, when expanding your vocabulary you’ll also improve your knowledge on spelling and the correct use of words already in your vocabulary.

*I personally love learning new words and use them often to improve my personal writing.

3) Keep using those tough words.

Everyone has words they struggle to spell.  Don’t let that stop you.

I recently found a recipe book and I’d written one of the simplest words wrong.

I was mortified, but you know what? That’s just proof of how reliant we’re getting on the computer spell checking for us.

If you struggle with certain words keep pushing yourself to use them. Eventually you’ll spell them so often that you’ll learn to spell them correctly.

*Whenever I misspell something on my computer before looking for the correct spelling I go back and try to spell it again. Nine times out of ten I’ll spell it right on the second try.

4) Don’t always listen to the computer

Microsoft Word is great, don’t get me wrong.

I’m always looking out for those red and green squiggly lines, but it isn’t always right.

Sometimes computers don’t understand the context of how a particular sentence should work, so it’ll underline the whole thing with a green line. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the sentence.

Before taking on board the computer’s recommended changes always give it a second or third read over.

See if it flows.

If it flows and you don’t detect anything wrong there probably isn’t an issue.

Also, bear in mind that not every word is registered in the Microsoft Word dictionary. If a word is really old or comes from another language Word will just keep on telling you it’s spelt wrong, even when it isn’t.

5) Write it ALL down first.

I used to always edit as I went, so if I misspelt a word I would immediately change it and if a sentence didn’t flow I’d spend ages re-writing it.

However, that isn’t the most efficient way to write and edit.

The most efficient process is to write everything out and then do a re-read for editing.

Trust me it saves time.

A helping hand

If you need a helping hand with any aspects of writing or editing…

Simple emails, sales funnels, website content reviews through to book manuscripts, blogs and ghost writing are all in a days work for us at Dragon Sisters.

Need some help…..reach out to us.

To your success,

Sasha

Sasha Hanton – a graduate of Bond University with a Bachelor in Journalism. Sasha possesses high caliber skills across a wide genre of writing, editing and multi-media content creation. Sasha’s achievements include the Sally A White Award for Investigative Journalism 2013.

 

Email list building

Building your email list is vital to your business.

Why?

So you can connect with your target audience. Sure you can use social media, but if that goes away, you have no way of connecting IF you don’t have their emails.

When you write an authentic and helpful email, you make strong connections. You are building relationships in a genuine way.

One of the best ways to do this is with a lead magnet.

What’s a Lead Magnet

In a nutshell…….

A lead magnet is something you offer in exchange for the recipients email address, so it needs to be something pretty useful and of value to the recipient.

They give you their address and you email the promised lead magnet.

You could have a refer a friend program, an ebook, a tip sheet, or anything else that your audience may value. It all comes down to what appeals and really connecting with that appeal through your lead magnet.

We think LeadPages is pretty fantastic. And, they just got even better. LeadPages is offering the option of a 14 day FREE trial – for the first time ever!

Free Resources

They also have a load of resource that will help everyone, whether you’re a LeadPages member or not.

It’s full of some of the most helpful marketing resources I’ve seen in quite a while including free educational videos on how to quickly grow your email list, launch a new product, choose the right landing page for your marketing, and awesome marketing wisdom from the founder of LeadPages, CEO Clay Collins.

We use it at Dragon Sisters to create landing pages like this one for our Bali sojourn as well as to create sign ups for our free tip sheets, such our e-book on How to Use Facebook Live.

And that’s just a sampling of what you’ll find in the LeadPages.

In the interest of full diclosure, we are affiliates for LeadPages. What this means that if you do choose to buy, via the link we’ve share, we will receive a small commission, but this is at no extra costs to you.

If you’re thinking it may be helpful your business, this is the perfect time to try it out with a 14 day FREE trial. Click here to try. 

Fly like a dragon!

Michelle

Top Secret

Who doesn’t love a secret?

I’m in the mood to share one of Michelle’s.

It’s not that she’s a secret agent with ASIO or anything like that.

Though it does tickle my funny bone thinking of her abseiling out of a chopper, wearing her penguin jumper and a pair of flippers, doing a covert ops midnight drop … most likely on her fridge so she can fossick for Ferrero Roche choccies.

And before you believe that I’m the big blabber mouth of the Dragon Sisters team, rest assured you can safely view this without having to flush it down the loo or set fire to it once you’ve read it …

Fly like a dragon!

Yvonne

So You Want To Sell Online?

To sell online is the dream of many. After all, it’s a vast global marketplace and you can work from the comfort of your own home.

Making money while you sleep.  Sounds fabulous!

The Reality

All too often we start out all fired up only to discover that reality is not quite as simple as we initially envisaged.

Sure, there are a zillion guru’s who’ll tell you how they made their fortunes, that they’ll teach you their secrets and exact methods they used. For a fee.

BUT, the reality is this – it’s hard work.

There is no such thing as overnight success.

Yes, it is possible to be very successful online. It all comes down to strategy.

Regardless of whether you are an Etsy store, an author, a business coach…Before you do anything at all there 5 key areas that you need to pay close attention.

5 steps to successfully selling online

Step 1 – Identifying your target audience.  You need to be really specific because you cannot be all things to all people.

If you are too generic, you miss the mark because people do not realise you are talking to them. When you are niching down you have a much better chance of succeeding.

Step 2 – Start building your email list. This is absolutely essential. It means being able to speak directly to your target audience.

If they join your email list, you know they are interested in what you have to offer.

Step 3 – Get really clear & familiar with what you will need to deliver.

So many people start to plan an online course or product, but then, partway down the path, realise they have no idea on what is needed to deliver the finished product.

In other words HOW all the moving parts need to fit together. If the building blocks don’t fit then there is no way that sales happen. It’s definitely not a case of build it and they will come.

Step 4 – Know the costs involved in getting started.

This can be a very nasty shock and lack of funds can end up stalling your progress.

Step 5 – Create your initial campaign designed to educate rather than to sell. Your audience needs to get to know you. After all, would you buy from a perfect stranger online?

Once you have these five steps in place you are ready to start thinking about marketing your product.

The five steps outlines above are way more important than having a fancy logo or branded collateral. They are the icing on the cake that only come AFTER you have baked the cake. In other words – the solid base needs to be in place before you cn start the decorating.

As business strategists, we all too often see people make the mistake of investing far too much in the ”trimmings.”  This can be a costly mistake.

Selling online is great, but it’s a journey that you need to be approaching strategically if you want to be successful.

Understanding and developing a marketing mindset goes a long way to ensuring a successful online business. It’s not always easy, but it’s most definitely worth the effort.

Dragon Sisters runs a FREE 7 Day Marketing Challenge to help you gain a different perspective on the marketing mindset.

To enrol in the next challenge just subscribe below.



Got an opinion or question on selling online? I’d love you to share it in the comments.

Fly Like A Dragon

Michelle

 

In Your Face Facebook

Not the fastest to take up Facebook, I finally folded when several overseas friends badgered me relentlessly.

Once I did though, I never regretted being able to trade banter, snippets of news and – my favourite – photos, with folk I hadn’t seen in aeons.

Best of all, I got to find, and be found by, friends I’d lost touch with decades ago.

The World Shrunk With Facebook

The world and time suddenly shrunk.

In an awesome way.

At any time of my choosing, I could reach out, connect, reconnect. Spend an hour or a minute touching base with friends, old and new.

And those friends hand-held me through my tentative steps into social media. They gave me great advice and tips. The do’s and don’ts of social media etiquette, security and other useful stuff.

Pretty soon, I’d lost my reticence and was Facebooking like a fiend.

And having a ball with it.

Once you’re confident with something, that’s when you really start to enjoy it, right?

Facebook & Your Business

6 years ago (March 2011) we started our Dragon Sisters Facebook page.

In the first place, we did it because we thought we should have a business presence on the platform.

But it quickly became evident that Facebook for business had enormous potential for Dragon Sisters, and for our connections and clients.

Our reach became exponential

It was a pebble in the pond ripple effect, bringing in other opportunities both on and offline. In other groups. We set up our own closed-member groups for different aspects of our business. We joined and supported others’ public and closed user groups.

We cross-fertilized and fostered relationships on other social media platforms. Used new Facebook offerings and features to get the best results for our business, like Facebook Live.

And it’s all become bigger than Ben Hur.

If you’re too young to know that movie, it’s about a Roman chariot race. Which is a good simile, since Facebook (and other social media platforms) can sometimes feel like a runaway chariot, careening out of control, with you wondering how soon the wheels are going to fly off.

A lot of the questions we get for Michelle’s weekly Q&A Smarketing Spot still revolve around how to handle your business presence on Facebook. How to stay in control. How to create and maximise the opportunities this medium offers.

How to do all that and not be an In Your Face Facebook Freak?

So, I’m re-sharing Michelle’s blog from March last year.

Which includes one of our  free tip sheets- 6 Steps to Strategic Social Media Posting that will save you heaps of time.

Are we Facebook aficionado know-it-alls?

Nope.

Truth is, the platform morphs and moves too fast for anyone to stake that claim.

But we know what’s worked for us. And it can work for you too 😉.

Fly like a dragon!

Yvonne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When A Dragon Flies

Things have been hectic recently and, as the front woman for Dragon Sisters, especially so for Michelle.

She’s the one who does all the interstate and international travelling for the business. Her kids are adults. Mine isn’t.

Makes sense, yes?

Plus, she is a fantastic speaker, whereas I have the public speaking presence of a bratwurst. I’ve made one tiny appearance on Facebook Live – kind of a cowardly cameo – and I’m as eager to do so again as stabbing a fork in my eye.

A few days ago, I arrived to collect Michelle for an airport run. I gave the horn a quick toot, popped the boot and hopped out to give her a hand with her luggage. I heard her front door slam, so I knew she was bang on time and I headed up the path to meet her.

Her diminutive form came scuttling towards me, holding up an A4 piece of paper, like chauffeurs do at the airport arrivals gate, when they’re meeting someone they wouldn’t recognize from a bar of soap.

My first thought was that she was having a laugh.

It’s a standing joke that it’s a wonder Michelle knows where she is half the time, given that she often wakes up on an aircraft just in time to bolt out of the airport and into the first meeting.

But when I noted that she was talking at the speed of a fax machine – apparently to herself – I did wonder if she’d lost the plot.

Poor lamb.

It’s all been a bit too frantic perhaps.

Jabbering to yourself and charging about holding up a sign … before you’ve even left home base; well, that’s not normal.

Added to which, Michelle looked like she was having an identity crisis, or at the very least, a fashion victim moment.

She was wearing a jumper with a big penguin on the front of it and a pair of large mouse ears.

She looked like an escapee from Walt Disney’s sketch pad. Destined for the scrap that idea waste paper basket, before he came up with Minnie Mouse. (Who started out as Michelle Mouse – not a lot of people know that).

I peered myopically at her sign.

From a distance.

Not keen to get closer than I had to. Whatever was up with her could be catching. Sisterly support has its limits.

Then I read: on Skype with Exxxxxx.

Exxxxxx is a client in Europe. Obviously, the time worked for Exxxxxx in his time zone and Michelle was squeezing in a consult on the run.

Her mouse ears were blue tooth headphones.

And since she was travelling through the night, she was wearing the closest thing to pyjamas she could find.

I’ve always been in awe of Michelle’s time management skill. No one I’ve worked with has ever packed more into a schedule than she does.

Michelle – respect!

Shame I can’t say the same about your penguin outfit, but hey, Exxxxx couldn’t see it and I’m sure the Qantas flight crew have seen greater oddities. At least you weren’t wearing your onesie with the fluffy feet attached 😉.

If you’re time challenged too, you’ve maybe already read our tips on the subject, so for a change, here’s a great article for you from Kristi Hedges writing for Forbes.

Fly Like A Dragon!

Yvonne

Time Is On My Side …..or is it?

The Rolling Stones

Time is on my side, yes it is …

Remember those lyrics?

I do!

Except for these days, I’m a cynical old rocker and sing along ‘Time is on my side, no it’s not’. So, sue me. Maybe Mick Jagger will … sigh … 😊.

Well, daydreaming about rock gods of my generation doesn’t get stuff done, does it?

Ooh – now I’ve leapt into The Who talkin’ ‘bout my generation lyrics (from their album My Generation).

If you’re following Michelle’s Facebook Live Q&A, on the Dragon Sisters Facebook Page on Wednesdays, you’ll be noticing that managing your time seems to be a common recurrent theme.

We’re all of us always looking for tips, tools, resources to make it easier to keep pace with our super-fast tech-world and digital doings. To give us a hand in keeping up with our business, our clients – and our competitors!

The old saying the early bird gets the worm rings true. But how the hickory-dickory-dock do you get up early enough? With international time zones, it can seem like your clients never sleep – at least in terms of your time zone. And who wants a worm anyway? Not me! But a lively, wriggly prospective client? Sure. I’ll be up for that. And early! And rocking!!

How to keep a rocking

My favourite of Michelle’s tips is

5) Break times – Set yourself designated break times and stick to them. Leave your desk, and if possible go outside into the fresh air.

Don’t eat at your desk, take the time to chat to colleagues or read a magazine/chapter from a book, listen to some relaxing music or whatever appeals to you.

Three guesses what appeals to me … listening to the Rolling Stones, The Who, the who-ever – that’s my relaxation; plus, it gets me buzzing 😉. Maybe not quite Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in D Minor to soothe … but it does it for me. And she did say whatever appeals to you.

By the way, if you like the classics (other than rock classics) I do highly recommend Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in D Minor. If you’re feeling frazzled that is definitely a go-to.

But for me … rock on!

Fly like a dragon

Yvonne

Effectively Communicating with a Virtual Assistant (VA)

A good working relationship with a virtual assistant (VA) comes down to clear communication that leaves no room for misunderstanding.

Heck, I think you can safely say that good communication is so important on all fronts and facets of life, not just business.

Everyone wants to be cooperative.

But unless you know what is expected, it can be really hard.

This is especially true when it comes to a business relationship and even more so when it exists in the virtual world.

Effectively communicating is the key to success on so many different fronts.

In my Facebook Live Q&A Wednesday I talked a little about using VA’s and it seems that it really struck a chord. Over 6 thousand views.

I’ve been innunated with PM’s, emails and the odd phone call with anecdotes and stories of experiences with VA’s. Some were on the positive side, many were negative and some just wanted clarity on what tasks a VA could do.

VA’s can do almost everything that does not require a physical presence.

However, the key to having a successful relationship is nailing down your requirements. AND communicating them clearly.

This post, on Effectively Communicating with Your VA was written by dear Bibi, who unfortunately passed away earlier this year. Vale Bibi Van Heerden – your wisdom continues to assist so many travelling the business journey.

We’re very fortunate to have a team of excellent VA’s that work with us here at Dragon Sisters.

It’s taken trial and error.

We’ve honed our skills at briefing, and we’re continually learning how better to communicate with our team.

You also need to keep in mind that many VA’s do not come from English as a first language background. So although they have fantastic skills, unless the briefing is clear, the results may not be exactly what you expected (or wanted).

If you have stories to tell of working with a VA, we’d love to hear them in the comments below. Similarly, if you are a VA, we’d love you to share your best tips for successful client relationships.

Fly like a dragon

Michelle