HOW TO MAKE GREAT VIDEO CLIPS YOURSELF

Video is continuing to gain traction, and we’re repeatedly being asked about video, so we decided to repost this article with great tips from a Berlin based professional in the field – Ludwig Linnekogel.

Michelle

Have you noticed a huge trend to use video as a way to engage with your audience? Of course you have! Okay, maybe you haven’t, but take a moment to check and you’ll soon spot a trend. As an oldie and as an avid reader, I have to say that, as a rule, I much … Continue reading HOW TO MAKE GREAT VIDEO CLIPS YOURSELF

Source: HOW TO MAKE GREAT VIDEO CLIPS YOURSELF – Dragon Sisters

Coach vs Trainer – What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between a coach and a trainer? A great question.

In fact, it was a question that popped up on the Dragon Sisters Facebook page when I shared my last post . That’s what prompted me to write this article.

Coaches and trainers are used in both sport and business.

Although the titles are sometimes interchanged, there is actually quite a difference between the two roles.

Business coaching has gained traction in recent times, and as I said in my last post, there seems to be an abundance of business coaches popping up everywhere.

A coach is not a magician.

Each coach has their own style of working. There is no wrong or right way.

Different coaches will suit different individual.

Choosing the right coach to suit your needs is essential.

All good coaches will hold you accountable. They keep you on track.

Where you need to do additional learning, they will often suggest, and sometimes even provide resources to help you on your journey.

So what exactly does a coach do?

A coach helps you achieve your goals. If you are confused and unsure of what steps to take next, or unsure of which direction to head in, then a coach can help you sort through the chaos and confusion.

Having a coach will help you achieve more in a faster time space.

Your coach will move you forward. Of course, before starting off , it is important to know and to share what your goal is with your chosen coach; even if you goal is just to gain clarity!

Your coach will help hone your game plan.

When you have the right coach, you are increasingly motivated and more importantly, confident, that you are stepping in the right direction. This is especially true for solopreneurs and small business.

With a coach supporting you, it is easier to develop or hone new soft skills and put them into practice.

Why is a coach so valuable?

Because your coach helps you to understand different perspectives.

A good coach helps with clarifying your thinking. This allows you to start becoming more focussed on what steps you need to take and in what order.

When you’re working with a coach, you gain clarity, develop priorities and thereby increase your productivity.

A good coach will not tell you how to do things. Instead, they will be supporting you to work through your planning and decision-making processes.

When you use a coach, you are paying for their service for a fixed contract period. During this period there will be specific outcomes that you wish to achieve. Your coach’s job is to help you get there.

It is important to note, that as you grow and develop your skills, you may outgrow your coach.

A good coach always aims for their clients to grow to the point where they are surpassing their coach. It is at this point that you need to start to look for another coach to take you to the next step.

So what’s a trainer do?

A trainer imparts information. They train you in a specific way of doing something. In business, almost everyone has attended or experienced some kind of training course. These are usually delivered by an accredited trainer who frequently works from a manual set down by a higher authority.

Trainers work to a specific formula. For instance, a first aid trainer, an induction course, training on a new piece of equipment; it could be as mundane as a new photocopier or the very latest fighter jet. It’s training to a formula. A set way of performing specific tasks.

In a nutshell

A coach helps you to gain clarity – in your own way. The role of a coach is to help facilitate the journey from lots of bright ideas/your raw talent to a systematic, yet highly individualised approach to achieve your goals.

A coach will help you soar to the heights and fly like a dragon – free of a keeper.

MichelleDragon_Michelle.png

PS – You’re welcome to join me in The SMART Circle, our private Facebook group, where you can gain support, ask and have questions answered – it’s FREE – our way of paying it forward.

Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.

 

 

#1 Barrier to your business growth

The #1 Barrier to business growth is frequently lack of customers. Does this sound like your barrier?

Me – I’m an ‘80s YUPI throwback – and it shows.

Like when I was asked what Michelle and I do, and gave the flippant reply, ‘We’re business barrier busters’. My equally long-in-the-tooth friend said, ‘What – like Ghost Busters?’, and he began to laugh and sing the movie theme song, ‘Who ya gonna call? Ghost Busters!’

Anyhow, it stuck.

I liked it, more than the dry corporate speak, ‘We’re business strategy consultants who blablabla …’ We even named one of our programs Barrier Busters. Because it exactly describes what we do.

So who do we help?

We mostly help small business and NFP’s identify the barriers which are holding them back. Barriers that prevent them growing to their full potential.

Then we help bust down those barriers.

Notice the word ‘help’?

How do we help bust down barriers?

By showing how to do it. Like ‘Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves’ by Eurythmics – another 80s icon (now I can’t get that tune out of my head) – is a song all about empowerment.

We’re a bit empowerment mad (better than being power mad, right?).

That’s how we get testimonials like these:

‘Dragon Sisters coaching has helped me with my business in practical and visible ways. I put the techniques into practice and got amazing results – I got four appointments with new clients all in one afternoon! I was so excited I had to ring up my DS coach and tell her, “Wow! This really works!!’
Karen, Business Development Manager, Qld

“Prior to working with Dragon Sisters, I went to a lot of expense and effort to strategize the marketing for my business development – with no real results. I had folders full of information, but not the detail of how to translate this for my own business.

Now, I am able to get the strategic positioning, content creation, marketing and business development support, for the specific outcomes and results I want and need for my business. Within 7 weeks I could see measurable, significant improvement. Finally, someone understands me and my business! Michelle has been the angel on my shoulder.” Dee Waterson, Ignite Yourself

Did you notice that Michelle has achieved angel status?!Image courtesy of Prawny at FreeDIgitalPhoto.com

Funnily enough no one ever calls me an angel …

The Rolling Stones ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ pops into my head (now that’s even older than me).

If you’re having the devil of a time working out your number 1 business barrier – not getting enough customers – you might like a copy of our e-book, just drop us a note and we’re happy to share, FREE!

I’m off to listen to Annie Lennox singing ‘There Must Be An Angel’, while Michelle polishes her halo …before jetting off to Bali tonight for the Refresh, Reframe & Relax retreat.

Yvonne

PS – if you would like to learn more about our services check out our website

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

 

HOW PERSONAL DO YOU NEED TO BE?

How personal does personalizing your brand need to be?

Answer: not that personal!

If you read our blog last week, you’ll know what this is flowing on from. By the way, yes, Claire the Client is still speaking to me …. I can put my Diplomatic Dragon hat on when I need to.

Credit to Claire, she hasn’t been scared off her Facebook page because of one blunder.

It’s not untypical to blur the lines between personal and personalization.

What’s the difference?

If it’s such a potentially blundersome burden, why bother?

Sure, it’s far simpler to just keep to safe, boring, banal business marketing messages, and if that worked, that’s all any of us would be doing.

The down-side of being an SME, solopreneur or boutique business is that you don’t have vast marketing collateral, budgets, and resources.

What you do have is access to the same digital and social media mediums that every business (and every consumer) around the globe has. Businesses as big as Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin brand.

Did you know … ?

The brand name “Virgin” arose when Richard Branson and Nik Powell formed a record shop. They considered themselves virgins in business. Branson has described the “V” in the logo as an expressive tick, representing the Virgin seal of approval.  Source – Wikipedia

Virgin has come a long way since those early days. But it’s always been synonymous with Richard Branson, who from the beginning personalized the brand as his own. And he still does. Anyone who follows him on social media will see a great deal of personalization still goes on. He mentions his family fairly frequently, alludes to his early years, shares his experiences, life and business lessons, his causes and his philosophies.

Small Operators & Personalization

The up-side to being a small operator is that it is far easier to personalize your brand than it is for a huge conglomerate unless they have a personality like Richard Branson heading it up with an inspiring story behind the brand and the man.

You might think, yeah, great, but who’s going to be interested in me – I’m a solopreneur, not a corporate giant. I sell pool pumps not rock star record labels. Which is exactly what is in your favour.

You are small, independent, agile!

It’s far more attainable to create brand personalization for you than it is for ABC Inc. – Absolutely Boring Corporation Incorporated has a marketing department and advertising agencies trying to create a point of difference between them and their close competitor Marginally Less Boring Inc.

One of the biggest challenges marketers face is how to create customer engagement with their ABC or MLB brand. Thousands and millions are spent on trying to humanize and personalize their brand to create some sort of connection with their prospects and customers.

That connection you have available at your finger-tips. Literally, with meaningful, personalized, creative content, you are a click away from growing your brand and your business. The faint-hearted can be heard heckling, you’re also literally one click away from crashing and burning with one wrong post or one adverse comment.

Faint-hearted never won fair mother lode. The mother lode is an engaged target market that likes your brand enough to buy into it. They like You!

Here’s a comment from one of our blogs last year, which demonstrates the point perfectly:

Kyleigh McCollam says:
September 17, 2016 at 5:01 pm
It’s so true! People don’t buy the products, they buy into the people or brand selling them!!

Thanks Kyleigh of C’est le Style for your feed-back 

So back to personalization – people like to know who they are dealing with digitally – the same way they would in a person to person interaction.

Why Personalize

Personalization is about giving people enough information about yourself and your brand to help them to feel comfortable that you and your brand are authentically aligned to their expectations, interests and values.

Being Personal is what you do on your personal Facebook page, and even there, there can be an element of getting too personal. Who hasn’t read posts popping up on their newsfeed and cringed? Thinking, too much information (gak!), or somebody hasn’t taken their med’s today before hurriedly scrolling on.

Facebook is a publicly, globally accessible platform. Besides, there’s a big data revolution going on and a lot of changes; who knows what might ultimately end up where. Microsoft just bought out LinkedIn. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

How to stay safe

It’s really pretty easy to stay safe, though. Just post or publish authentic representations of Brand You with one question front of mind:

Am I happy to own this no matter who sees it?

Warm Wishes

Yvonne

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

When you want to head-butt your client….

This blog should maybe have been titled Confessions of a Dragon due to the bit of truth-telling I’m about to ‘fess up to. I’m not sure that this will get past editorial censorship. After all, it’s probably not a good thing to admit that you’ve wanted to leap across your desk and head-butt a client.

Yesterday, I could have been mistaken for a real-live dragon. A dragon with steam coming out of my ears, breathing fire, fang-snapping, snarling ….the whole bit.

But hey, I’m only human.

Except when I’m being a dragon.

And not the noble nerves of steel kind. More of the oh-boy-you’re-getting-on-my-last-nerve, cranky kind – being a real old dragon – the sort that school kids and parents run and hide from at Parent Teacher meetings.

Is the client in question still a client of Dragon Sisters after yesterday?

Let’s see, shall we …?

Here’s the back-story

This client, let’s call her Claire the Client, is one of our Smarketing clients. What she’s interested in is connecting with her target audience, converting them to serious business prospects, to sell them her product.

Claire’s progress has been great in nailing down her target market and connecting with them – mostly digitally and largely through Facebook. Her FB following has increased, her database and her subscriber list have grown enormously.

Fantastic!

Claire’s now ready to really move into converting. She knows there’s plenty of interest in her product. All she has to do is keep doing what she’s doing.

Why?

Because you never let up on keeping and growing connections; that’s your sales funnel, and she’s just started implementing her conversion strategy.

I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Checking up on client pages, especially when they’ve just started flying solo, i.e. been let loose on managing their own page. At Dragon Sisters we aren’t fond of managing FB pages, so most of the time we’re teaching folk how to implement Smarketing on that platform for themselves. And as I mentioned, Claire has been going great guns.

Until yesterday, when she shot herself in the foot.

BANG!

Social media suicide.

Claire should have been hopping around toeless, yelling her head off for a doctor.

Preferably a spin doctor.

Yet she wasn’t.

Because she was blissfully oblivious to the impact of the post she’d put up. A post which over 11,000 of her target market followers would see – and not be impressed with.

The first rule of social media marketing for business is you are your brand.

One of the things we stress about Smarketing is that social media success, in terms of branding for audience engagement, is that personalization is key.

Professional personalization

This means that carping is the equivalent to committing hara-kiri, not death by disembowelment, but rather, death by disengagement. The post Claire had put up was a personal rant which put a severe dent in her brand credibility.

Seeing this I wondered if Claire’s brain had been anaesthetised. The joke post I’ve seen on Facebook “that wasn’t me texting last night, it was the wine” sprang to mind.

How do you ask a client if they’ve been drinking on the job?

It was very tempting to ask Claire that question the minute I got hold of her. Since no sane or sober person spends months building a seriously engaged following, only to shoot it out of the sky just when it’s really beginning to fly.

I also couldn’t ask a client have you lost your mind? No matter how crazy they were making me!

The moral of the story is this: you can’t get cocky, careless, or complacent, no matter how great you think you’re doing.

That applies to me too. So, I didn’t leap across the desk and head-butt Claire.

Probably because you can’t do that on Skype.

Warm Wishes,

Yvonne

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

Your Reputation Matters – Check Out Who You’re Trusting With It!

Your reputation is affected by those who you surround yourself with.

I had an interesting little experience on LinkedIn and I thought I’d share it with you.

Maybe you’ve come across the same thing?

I was asked to connect with an individual on LinkedIn by another connection. This was an overt network expansion request to help generate interest in, this unknown to me potential connection’s, business.

Let’s call this individual, Larry.

Now, I’m not precious about my LinkedIn connections and who I let into my network. Ordinarily.

After all, if I can give a leg up to another business, then I’m usually more than happy to do so. That’s how networking works and our Dragon Sisters philosophy has always been to help out for no gain – the pay it forward concept.

That doesn’t mean I was born yesterday.

With many more yesterday’s behind me than I like to count, naturally I checked out my soon to be LinkedIn pal, Larry.

I’m a nosey sort and I really am interested in other people’s business.

Not in the curtain-twitcher way! (I’m not that nosey).

More in the what we might have in common way.

At first, I couldn’t figure out why my connection – let’s call him Bob – was raving about Larry.

Larry’s LinkedIn profile and information looked like he’d landed in LinkedIn Land a nanosecond ago.

Kind of the man with no past.

He’d been at the company he worked at only a few brief months. He claimed over a decade in experience and achievement in his sector, but there was nothing to bear out the claim anywhere in his summary or experience.

And I mean nothing.

With over 400 connections Larry had 4 skills endorsements and no past experience history.

Not that I count on vanity metrics, but still, given the dearth of information about the guy, that made his claims more than a bit tenuous.

His company website linked to nothing more informative than an opt-in landing site.

Oh-oh! Had Bob already parted with hard-won cash?

I had a nasty feeling he had. And Bob is a talented, hardworking, solopreneur. I didn’t like to think he’d been gulled.

So, I dug down a bit.

Actually, I drilled down like a manic mole. ‘Til the early hours, when I should have been in LaLa Land with the Sandman and a flock of supine sheep.

But I was intrigued and in full rat-up-a-drain-pipe mode.

Plus, as I said, I’m nosey.

The whole ‘curiosity killed the cat’ thing doesn’t wash with me. Not when it comes to business or handing over cash.

Larry’s claim was that he had the expertise to monetise Bob’s LinkedIn presence for Bob’s explosive business growth.

Really fast and really impressively.

Kind of like a LinkedIn networking guru who could turn LinkedIn into lots of lovely lolly for Bob.

First up, Larry would transform Bob’s profile and presence on LinkedIn into amazing guru-hood for Bob’s specific business sector. Bob’s new profile looked more gnu-like than guru-like. I was about as impressed as a kid at Christmas getting a stocking full of coal.

Bob has paid for this?! My high school kid has a better profile than poor old Bob. And that includes her Saturday job as wait staff.

Talk about being under-whelmed. Larry had done nothing for Bob’s professional reputation. Worse. He’d made Bob look like a complete numpty. And Bob is no numpty. In his field of expertise he’s a star.

My mid-night digging led me to the parent company of Larry’s business. It had been registered just last year. I dug around for the CEO of Larry’s company and that Big Cheese’s other business interests and his partners.

I looked at everyone associated with those businesses on Google, other social media sites and of course, on LinkedIn.

I checked out the company registrations. I checked out the glowing recommendations. Some of which were the same people (on various Big Cheese individual profiles) vouching for (different) businesses which hadn’t existed at the time of writing those gushing this is the go-to guy testimonials.

I found links to defunct websites (with domains registered to the Big Cheeses). To past events promising get-rich-quick schemes.

Most weird of all, was that the people in business together didn’t transparently acknowledge any relationship with each other. They all came from the same background. They all made lavish monetising promises, in different guises and under different companies over the years.

None of them had achieved rich list status themselves. And the way they were scrambling for business, like a pack of hyenas over a bone, had me worried that Bob had become the bone. Humble, lovely Bob, who had trusted his reputation to them and I suspected was on his way to trusting more of his hard-won cash to some under the radar business interests. And not in his business interests.

Spooky, isn’t it?

Dragon Sisters are big advocates of how to Connect. Convert. Sell.

There are ways to go about connecting authentically. This wasn’t one of them. Least ways, not one that works for Bob. Next time he’ll be checking out the reputation of who he’s trusting with his reputation. And money!

Warm Wishes

Yvonne

PS Do you need support deciding who to trust your reputation to? Download our Top 10 Tips by clicking the box below:

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

When no one likes selling, but we all want sales

Happy New Year!

A brand new year is always so exciting, isn’t it?

It definitely is, if you, like us at Dragon Sisters, are a small to medium business or an entrepreneur. We are the lucky ones because we get to do what we love, and love what we do!

For most of us, this means we haven’t dragged our sorry-for-ourselves self into an office full of similarly sorry souls, all wondering how the holidays went by so fast, that we could be forgiven for thinking we’re in the realm of a cruel Doctor Who Tardis prank.

Hey presto!

Here we are back at our desk, with our 2018 stacked in-tray still in front of us, an email inbox that seems to have some sort of cell-splitting capability. How else can you explain emails that seem to multiply the moment you turn your back on that darned computer?

And a boss behind us cracking the whip….perhaps in the nicest possible way, but hey, a whip’s a whip, designed to whip up our enthusiasm and productivity, which, after a few weeks kicking back guzzling eggnog and other festive treats, can be a bit of a rude shock to the system.

Unless you’re lucky enough to be one of us!

So, here we are, we intrepid entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and SME owners, jumping into 2019 at the warp speed of the Starship Enterprise. Beyond excited to be launching our new dreams, schemes and all things fantastic.

2019 is going to be our best year ever, right? Not least because we are fully committed, in the immortal words of Captain Kirk, to make it so.

Whether you’re a widget designer, a creative consultant, a reiki practitioner, a pooch pampering professional, or a funeral director, you and I are in exactly the same business – we are in business to sell our super service or stupendous stuff.

No matter how brilliantly shiny our (new or existing) product or service is, it’s not going to sell itself.

We need to sell it! And a lot of it!! Which means, all the time!!!

This is the part where I lose a lot of you, dear fellow Intrepid, because once we start talking sales and selling, many often cringe, fidget and generally look about as comfortable as a duck during the shooting season. Most of us will do anything to dodge the sales bullet.

Not many of us enjoy being sold to. Fewer still of us enjoy doing the selling.

That’s because we view selling as an unwelcome imposition. It’s intrusive. It interrupts us when we are busy and we are always busy, especially our solopreneurs.

Half the time people are trying to sell us stuff that we really don’t have any interest in. Thanks, but no thanks! We hang up, log off, switch off.

When it comes to selling our own service or product, we definitely don’t want to get the same treatment.

We don’t want to be a pain in the posterior either.

We’re nice people. We don’t want to impose upon or interrupt anyone, the way we hate it when that happens to us.

That being the case, how are we going to make it so in terms of making this year a storming sales success? Because like it or lump it – 2019 is not going to be great shakes if we don’t get our revenue rocking.

The good news is that there are lots of routes to sales: on-line, off-line, in person and they all work.

Not only that, but they all work the same way. And it doesn’t have to be painful!

Even the shyest, least people-person amongst us, can get the results they need and want.

Just choose the medium which works best for you and for your business and get Smarketing.

What’s Smarketing? It’s how you …

CONNECT. CONVERT. SELL!

If this is something you have struggled with, then our Smarketing Chart explains how you can make Smarketing work for you.

It’s pretty self-explanatory, but if you need any help, drop us an email.

We’ll be blogging regularly to help you out with more ways to connect, convert and sell your way into a sensational 2017.

Here’s to your success!

With Warm Wishes

Yvonne

P.S. If you haven’t checked out our new website yet, there’s some good free stuff on there for you to help yourself to.

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

 

The Value Of Using A Journal

The value of using a journal cannot be underestimated.

Just in case you’re one of those people who hears the word journal and immediately thinks diary, let’s get clear that they are two different things.

Sure, a diary is a daily record of your life, thoughts, hopes and wishes or, in the business sense it can be a record of your appointments and movements.

A journal is much more valuable. Whilst similar to a diary, it does not need to be written in each day, although you can if you want to.

A Journal is Your Journey

A journal is your personal record of the journey that you are taking in your life.

Each of us is at a different point in our life journey, so we will each have varying needs at different times.

With a journal, there is no wrong or right way.

It is entirely up to you as to the type of journal you keep. There could be aspects of your life that you want to change, explore or expand upon. Once you have begun identifying the area, then you’re ready to begin your journal journey.

Download my tip sheet to get started with your own Journal Journey 

What kind of journal should you keep?

This really depends on which areas you feel the need to work on and is very much a personal choice.

For instance, if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, a “Me Time” journal could be in order.

Consider a “Relationship” journal if you need to work on your relationships, or perhaps a “Memories” journal to help keep a record of special people and special moments.

If you are unwell or facing a difficult illness, then a “Healing” journal can offer immense value.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I started to maintain a wellness journal. It was so valuable in the sense that I was able to reflect back at the end of each week and month to see how far I had progressed.

I was able to visibly notice how much better I was coping with each dose of chemotherapy. Yes, it was making me sick, but with each dose, my recovery time was shorter rather than longer. As I reflected and read back over the entries in the journal, I felt more empowered. More in control over my own health. I was also able to pinpoint the activities that had taken place to make me feel better or worse.

In the workplace

If you’re self-employed, or a first time manager a business journal is also another great way of holding yourself accountable and debriefing.

Your business plan is the official roadmap, but your journal is the place where you have the luxury of exploring how you are travelling in terms of personal feelings, experiences and fears.

Writing a journal is a wonderful way to slow down and take the time to analyse situations and our reactions to them.

The mere act of sitting quietly and handwriting helps to still chattering monkeys of our minds.

Thoughts should be allowed to flow unbidden onto the paper in front of you. They do not need to be in a specific order.

Once the mind has emptied itself, you can go back and read over what has been written.

It’s quite incredible what insight you will often gain by re-reading your own words.

Discipline

It’s not always easy to get into a new habit and finding time to journal can often be a challenge.

The secret lies in being disciplined.

Set yourself up for success by allocating a set time to journal.

First thing in the morning, last thing at night or during a lunch break are times that seem to work well for many. Allocate the time in your calendar and stick it.

Taking Control

A journal is a great way of taking control, being empowered and keeping track of where you are heading in your life, your business, and even your relationships or finances.

The way you chose to use a journal is very much a personal choice.

There are many products on the market that provide visual prompts for your journal. They come at various price points, and it is very much a personal choice how you choose to journal.

Often simple is best. A blank notebook and a quality pen are all that you need to start your journal journey.

There’s also a great article here on the 10 Surprise Benefits you’ll get from keeping a journal.

Do you currently keep a journal? I’d love you share your experiences of the benefits you’ve discovered in the comments below.

Michelle

Download my tip sheet to get started with your own Journal Journey

How to effectively toot your own horn

How to effectively toot your own horn, and promote yourself and your business without looking like a complete self promoter is something that so many of us grapple with.

Do you find it easy to toot your own horn?

If you’re like a zillion other business people I know, then your most likely answer is going to be no. And that’s a perfectly normal answer.

Learning how to promote yourself without sounding like you’re bragging is not always the easiest thing to do. If you feel uncomfortable you are not alone.

It seems a bit braggish to be boasting about how wonderful you are. Braggish – is that even a word?

Nothing more annoying that those people who pop up all over the place telling you how wonderful they are, full of their own importance and it’s all about them. You know the kind I mean. Very rarely share anything about anyone else, just tell you all about themselves. They kind of tend to be the same in real life too – never stop to take breath or ask anyone else about how they are doing.

On the other hand, you kind of have to admire the size of their ego and the fact that they are totally oblivious to anything but themselves, their own needs and wants.

SO – how do you tell people how wonderful you and your business are without coming across as being full of ego?

Well, here’s the thing.

I have spent a great many years working in the not for profit sector. Most people in this sector are amazingly giving and generous with their time and knowledge. They do what they do for others, rather than themselves. Sure, they may get paid, but the wages are paltry compared with the corporate world.

I crossed from corporate to not for profit and now into the world of self employment.

I always found it very easy (and I still do) to promote a charity or a cause that I am working for. That’s because I only work with nice people and causes I believe in.

It’s very easy to ask for money for others. It’s easy to ask for support for a charity.

When it came down to promoting myself, that was a whole diferent kettle of fish. I had one major stumbling block.

The difficulty was…..

Making the ask for myself. When I first returned to Australia, I needed to let people know that I was looking for business locally.

It was not easy.

Up until that point, I had never needed to ask for myself.

I felt uncomfortable actively telling people about my own credentials and successes. It felt like I was bragging. I’ve never been particularly good at the me, me, me thing.  In my business successes I’ve always put my achievements down to whole teams efforts, crediting those working me for their contributions.

Then I realised that all these people I have helped, people who said they admired my work, were actually very willing to help me move ahead in my business.

The problem was…..

They did not know I needed help.

What I had to do was ask. They were not mind readers.

Ok, I had to do a little bit more than ask.  I needed to be clear about HOW they could help me and be specific about WHAT I wanted them to do.

I found LinkedIn a truly valuable tool for helping promote my business skills.  It was a place people could look me up, and the recommendations, honours and awards on my profile did the horn tooting for me.

Click here to grab a copy of our 8 Top Tips for using LinkedIn

I also honed my  pitch, so that I could quickly explain

“Dragons Sisters can help you to connect, convert and sell. We do this through strategic communication and a proven formula of Smarketing – strategy, sales and marketing.”

The team at Dragon Sisters has many talents, but it all boils down to helping clients with connecting, converting and selling.

To understand more about what it takes to connect, convert and sell  Click here to grab your copy of our FREE e-book on How to Create Engagement with Strategic Communication. It’s packed with engagement tips and information to help you succeed.

Once I started to express exactly what we do, the business stared to flow and we’ve not looked back. In fact, it’s rather nice to be in the position that we have many repeat clients and lots of word of mouth referrals.

To  each and every one of the businesses we’ve worked with – THANK YOU! It’s been a great pleasure to help you move your businesses forward.

Michelle

 

 

 

How to choose a business consultant

Consultant (noun)  – A person who provides expert advice professionally.

In business today consultants are popping up everywhere. They come with a myriad of different titles. The common element is you are paying them money for their expertise.

The key word here is expertise.

There is an abundance of so-called experts, but exactly what their qualifications are can be somewhat dubious in some cases. Yet heaps of people are duped into parting with their money.

Consultant, business coach, marketing guru – there are many different names used.

A consultant is a big investment.

This means you need to be making sure you’re choosing the best one for your current business needs.

Over the (almost) 10 years that Dragon Sisters has been operating, we’ve been using a wide range of consultants and experts.

Paying a fee for a consultant is an important business investment. Naturally, we always expect a return on our investment and over the years, we’ve become pretty good at choosing the best consultant for the job.

If you are wondering how to make the best decision in selecting a consultant you might want to grab a copy of our tip sheet to help prevent you making expensive mistakes.

Download our tip sheet

Why businesses choose Dragon Sisters

You might think you’re paying us to write strategic smarketing content, to give some advice, to run a project.

Yes, that is true, but what you’re really paying for is our knowledge. The knowledge gained through our history of working across a diverse range of industries, experiences, and countries.

You are getting our combined lifetime business acumen and insights that are proven to get results.

Our brag box is full of testimonials that attest to the credentials you need to ensure when using a consultant.

In the 30 years plus of international service with Rotary, I have never come across a business that possesses the unique skills and talents offered by Dragon Sisters. Their combined international experience and corporate background give Michelle and Yvonne a unique and impressive outlook on business and professional development.

The Dragon Sisters have harnessed their experiences and channelled them into a highly effective business model that provides top class results for both corporate, SME’s and not for profit organisations.

With professional integrity of the highest level, they are the perfect ‘go to’ for anyone seeking personal profile and brand elevation.

Allan O Jagger OBE
Chairman, Kirkdale Industrial Training Services & Rotary International Director 2011 -2013

Our forte is helping businesses connect, convert and sell effectively. We do this by using our strategy, sales and marketing expertise – our Smarketing Formula.

Occasionally, a client will ask for something that is not our forte.  We never hesitate in referring our clients to experts elsewhere who can better meet their specific need.

The practice of referring has stood us in good stead by cementing our reputation as an authentic business of the highest integrity. After all, isn’t that what everyone looks for in a good consultant?

Do you use a coach or consultants? We’d love you to share your experiences by leaving a comment.

To your success!

Michelle & Yvonne

Download our tip sheet