WAH! After spending the last hour and a half! (Yes, that is a mid-sentence exclamation point because I’m upset!) writing this article, WordPress lost it in the save! I feel it’s important enough though that I’m going to rewrite it. Please pardon any typos, I don’t have time to edit. I’ve got a penchant for time & organization management lately. Well, I hope the things I’m learning help you get your book written faster! Prioritizing your to do list can be difficult. I use to only use deadlines and the important/urgent table to prioritize. If you’re unfamiliar with the important/urgent table it looks like this: Important/Urgent tasks that are important AND urgent Important/Not Urgent tasks that are important BUT NOT urgent Not Important/Urgent tasks that are NOT important BUT are urgent Not Important/Not Urgent tasks that are NOT important NOR urgent The problem with this method is that most of my tasks fall under the “important” category, and most of them under “important/urgent.” It makes me feel anxious to look at it, and

then I just stop making them. After interviewing Anisa Aven though (you can listen to the interview here), and listen to Leslie Householder interview Rich Christiansen, the author of The Zig Zag Principle, I’ve created a new method for prioritizing my to do list and getting things done. Make your to do list:  Make it a scatter list of all the things you need/want to do. I like to separate my to do list into categories. For example, I have Art of the Written Word, client, general, and Mary Kay categories. Identify your frogs:  In essence, the frogs on your to do list are those items that are hard to swallow, or you see difficult to do. They could include cold-calling, writing that chapter in your book you don’t want to write, revising your book, or just vacuuming the house. You can circle or draw a frog next to these items. Identify…

Blogging. Everybody’s doing it. Or are they? Well if they aren’t, they should be. Especially small businesses. Blogging is one—if not the—most valuable marketing tools a business has to engage with its customers. Today’s blogs are pieces of “digi-literature” that are changing the way businesses work and connect with the consumer. What is a blog? The word blog is short for weblog. Unlike a conventional website, a blog is more like your online diary, a place to consistently post short messages. You can offer “expert” tips, share your knowledge, discuss products or topics or services pertinent to your business or industry or keep them updated about what’s going on in a more informal way. Still not sure? Here are the top reasons why your small business website needs a blog. A blog is a simple, easy-to-use vehicle for connecting—and sharing timely and relevant information—with existing or prospective customers. Look at it as your own communication channel. Blogs fuel Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the practice of

improving and promoting your website to increase the number of visitors it receives from search engines. Search engines love useful content and will compensate you for it by driving traffic to your site. Whenever you write a blog, it’s one more indexed page on your website. It’s also one more sign to Google and other search engines that your site is active and they should be checking in frequently to see what content you’ve published. It gives your business a voice. Blogs create a place where you can tout new products or services, voice your opinion on new topics or the latest trends. It’s also where you can let your personality shine and show the world who you are and what your business is all about. Blogs let you get closer to your clients or customers—getting ideas for product or service developments, finding out what annoys them and what makes them smile and…

Every small business is unique. It has its own product or service, its own image or look and its own message. As a writer, I help business owners craft compelling communications that will resonate with their customers. When getting to know a client, one of the first things I ask is what makes their business special? What separates them from their competition? While that sounds like an easy question more often than not, it is difficult to answer.It’s important to identify what makes your business unique so you can share it with potential clients. How important is it? It can mean the difference between success and failure. Here are some things to consider when trying to define the one-of-a-kind value your business offers. Your products are made of the best ingredients or maybe they are created through exceptional workmanship. Those who use those products might have witnessed impressive results or become repeat customers. Or maybe your services have generated more business for them.

Use statistics and testimonials to emphasize the quality of your product or service. Let people know how you can help them.Sure you provide good service but what about that service makes it great? Do you follow up with your customers after you deliver your product or service? Do you send out customer surveys to get their feedback?Find out everything you can about your competition then take the information and use it to your advantage. Be honest and original. Being different will help to create more interest and visibility for your business and hopefully will put you ahead of your competitors. In turn, your marketing message will stand out because it illuminates your specialty or area of expertise.Does your business cater to a specific demographic or target group? Do you specialize in a particular area or fill a certain niche? If so, be sure to highlight that in all your content and business communications.Avoid being a commodity that…

Let’s face it. We live in a society obsessed with social media. There’s Facebook, Instagram, Facetime, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, Vimeo and Twitter. All of these impact the way we do business. So how do you know which ones are right for you? Before you dive into the world of social media marketing you need to know more about it. When used properly, it can increase traffic to your website, boost sales, lower your marketing expenses and result in richer customer experience. Still not sure? Here are some ways social media marketing can help your business: • Increased Recognition. Every chance you have to syndicate your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Social media networks are just another way to promote your business while making you more reachable for new customers and more familiar for existing ones. • Improved loyalty. According to a report by Texas Tech University, businesses that engage on social media channels have a higher

rate of customer loyalty. • More Chances to Convert. Every social media post creates a chance for customers to convert. As you build a following, you’ll also gain access to new, recent and former customers and be able to network with all of them. • Higher conversion rates. Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates and has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. • Better Search Engine Rankings. SEO is the best way to capture traffic from search engines, such as Google. They use social media presence to calculate their rankings so being “socially” active can act as a “signal” that your brand is legitimate, credible and trustworthy. • Higher Brand Authority. When your brand or business name is posted you’ll attract a new audience who will want to follow you for updates. The more people talk about you, the more valuable and authoritative your brand or business will seem to new users. • Increased Traffic. Without social media,…

The digital age has changed the way businesses communicate. Traditional, formal business letters used to be the norm. Not anymore. Now business emails rule the day. Because email is so accessible, inboxes are overflowing and people are more selective about what they read. That’s why your business emails have to stand out. These tips will help you create concise and engaging correspondence no matter what the subject or audience. Begin with a greeting. Just like having a conversation, start with “Hello,” “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon.” Don’t forget to end with one, too. Use descriptive and meaningful subject lines. When checking email, recipients often determine its importance based on the subject line. Keep it short and informative. A few words describing its content or purpose is sufficient. Stick to one topic. Avoid going off on a tangent about other unrelated subjects. Use a conversational tone. Business emails can be less formal than business letters. Be careful, however, not to make it too

casual. Use graphics wisely. Businesses are interested in benefits, details and other customers. Unless graphics enhance your message in a meaningful way, don’t use them. Don’t be long-winded. Long emails can be cumbersome to read. Try to keep your emails between 50 and 100 words. While it might be difficult, your recipients will thank you for it. Include a call to action. Unless your email is a reply, it should have a call to action or a direct question. Be clear about why you’re writing and what you need and put that information at the beginning of your email. Refer to any attachments. If you include an attachment be sure to mention it in the body of your email. Sign off properly. Add a signature block with your contact information. Include your name, business address, and phone number. Proofread your email and run spell and grammar checks. Remember, “You never get a second chance to make a first…