Social Media & Spelling Don’t Always Play Well

“OMG the girls night out thing was so funnn!!!!!!!!!!!  it tuns out kati made a mistake you actuall were supposed to SLEEPOVER at my house so when I got back mady was rlly sad and now i am too! so yeah that sucks :( (said the 12 year old on Facebook)”

Okay, I have a couple of issues here. I “gotta” speak up and that “slang” was INTENTIONAL.

12 years old and a Facebook Profile already? Yes, I know her mother monitors all her stuff, but I still feel it is rather premature to allow for monitoring by others as well (for marketing purposes…etc.)

Spelling. Grammar. OMG! Is this what writing is regressing to? Are we heading back to a new version of Olde English or are we revisiting phonetics? I know that the misspelling needn’t have happened, and the haste to publish that status update pushed the idea of proofreading right out of the way. Modern technology I love/hate you. Being a Saturn/Uranus kind of person, I would.

Okay, going to stop now because I get to parent my 12 year old as I deem “best” for the time being.

And so she doesn’t get a Facebook page this year. And I will keep encouraging that she consider spelling well important.

And that is what I gots to say about that.

Co-Authors of Burn Your Resume. You Need a Professional Profile! presenting events June-August

As the co-author of Burn Your Resume, I am pleased to announce a series of events in Seattle and on the Eastside, beginning this June. Authentically and effectively speaking of yourself and writing about yourself (for that matter) gets easier when you understand who you are and what you have to offer: clients, peers, employers…and so it makes sense that as a professional we REALLY UNDERSTAND our Professional Story and can tell it well on paper, online and in-person.  Attend or Recommend any and all of the upcoming events. To your continued and future successes!

~Deborah Drake, Enthusiastic Catalyst

What exactly is a Professional Profile ™? And why does a new college grad, a job seeker in transition, an independent consultant, an entrepreneur or a small business owner need one?

A Professional Profile™ is much more than a chronological or functional résumé. It VIVIDLY showcases your Accomplishments, your Special Skills, and what you bring to the World of Work.

Work experience and employment history aside, who are you professionally, really? How confidently do you present yourself to future employers and clients as the IDEAL candidate?

Want to shine each and every time? We implore you to STOP the insanity. Get thee a Professional Profile ™!

Join us at an upcoming event and pick up your copy of the book at the event or order from Amazon.

 

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Co-sponsored by the Puget Sound Business Journal

June 14th

1-4pm

ThinkSpace in Redmond

Investment: $15 (pre-register)

http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/event/71391

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Monday Evenings: July 9th through August 6th

Co-sponsored by Soul Food Books in Redmond

A 5-week series on Monday evenings

6-8pm (arrive by 5:30pm to order coffee and network with others)

Investment: Pay What You Will

Over the course of five Mondays, in community, drop ins welcome at any point, we will create Professional Profiles and Practice Interview Skills. Who is this Series For? The Business Owner who wants new business, the Freelance Consultant, the Job Seeker.

Attn Career and Business Coaches: interested in learning how to use this tool with clients? Join us!

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Microsoft Store @ University Village in Seattle

July 19th and August 2nd

6-8pm

Investment: Complimentary

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What Does it Take to Find Great Work in a Challenging Economy?

The Era of the Resume is Over! Does Your Online Profile Do It’s Job?

Want to secure the Ideal Job or Launch a Career Right or win the Next Big Assignment?

Attend this interactive and experiential workshop to learn how to:

  • Learn how to always be an Ideal Candidate
  • Identify your best and most marketable skills
  • Create a “Positively Disruptive” Professional Profile (aka Functional Resume)

Does Your Resume Read Like a Table of Contents or does it tell a Tale of Accomplishments and Competency?

Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs alike MUST be able to show and tell their Professional Story both online and off.

Join Don Burrows, Job Search Specialist and Deborah Drake, Communication Specialist, co-authors of Burn Your Résumé. You Need a Professional Profile™ — Winning the Inner and Outer Game of Finding Work or New Customers for an interactive and experiential workshop designed to shift your mindset on what makes for an interview- winning professional profile that evolves with you. For more about Don and Deb visit http://resumesthatresumecareers.com/bios/

Who is this Workshop for?
Job Seekers, Seekers of Promotions, Independent and Freelancers wanting to attract ideal, new business.

YOU if you believe in these Job Search Myths

Myth #1
No one will read a four plus page resume.

Myth #2
You can’t shift industries without starting over.

Myth #3
It’s too competitive to do what I really want to do.

When Blogging Becomes a Chore

Have you ever outsourced or considered outsourcing a design or website development project to save money or time or both? Any number of portals offer us Design and WordPress Development services  that are supposed to make it easy and affordable for us less tech-savvy DIYers–but do they really when we take all into accounts?

Even Premium WordPress Themes “appear easy enough to work”  with  (or so the marketing says). BUT for some non-tech types the learning curve is steeper. Our initial investment (thinking we can do it all for ourselves) is a penny saved but pound foolish.

Trouble is we figure that out after the fact and we may opt to keep trying and throw a little more money at it.

After investing a mere $87 in a  Premium  Wordpress Theme, for the sake of launching an online business, one person I know of found it was not as easy as suggested to set up their initial site and there was no support! So a freelancer was engaged for a song and $300 was paid up front with the expectation that the website desired would now be built for them using the Theme. But no, the freelance programmer tried through email to train the client on how to do it for themselves. Even this might have been acceptable, if the site could have been created and populated with content.

Last I am aware it still doesn’t exist. So what is this person into for at this point?

$387 in cash and countless hours in email exchanges that got her no closer to what was wanted.

Efforts to communicate strictly via email with the outsourced programmer in a different time zone 12 hours away were never successful. Weeks passing and still not having the desired end product: a WordPress site that could be monetized and improved upon functionally.

Ask yourself as the business owner you are or are planning to become when is it wise to hire a professional you can work with closely and whose on the same page as you?

What is your time worth and billed at? Why are you spending money  trying to do something for yourself that is not where you earn the most bang for your buck?

We call that working in your business when we should be working on our business.  Too many a budding business owner tries to be chief cook and bottle washer, virtual assistant and bookkeeper, depleting their creative juices and energy for business development and stellar client services. Why? To have a sense of control? To save money in start up costs?

Again, what is your “sweet spot” for earning and why would you overwhelm yourself with a task that is not your strength? I know I am a strong writer and editor and creator of bog content. I am in my element doing this for others. I love doing this for my clients. I do it effortlessly and could do it for long hours and find creating blog content for a site energizing.

I have come to realize VERY quickly, that while I could be a WordPress officionado, I am not efficient beyond basic operations. And, quite frankly, if I wanted a more complex site with widgets and sliders and custom elements, I am hiring a local and reliable professional. I’ll do so for the sake of working with someone who can understand my language of my vision and my ideas. Clarity of communication saves time and money. It also assures we get what we wanted.

More power to the tech-savvy and creative sorts who can take a pre-packaged theme and make the most of it on their own but for the rest of us who will spin our wheels and grow frustrated with every plugin we attempt to discern and activate (as we hope we don’t break our site–which I have done!) I saY:

Go local. Stay local. Exhaust your local resources before you try what may be a too good to be true scenario.

Ever heard the adage, you get what you pay for?

(Reprinted after being originally published June 20121 on http://t2websites.com)

When Blogging Becomes a Chore

What comes to mind for you when you see the words?

Chores. The very word conjures up memories of Saturday mornings spent dusting, vacuuming, doing laundry, weeding and many other unpleasant tasks BEFORE I could play with friends and have fun.

Blogging. The other name for writing short pieces or longer articles that are timely, relevant, contribute to marketing efforts, and has the POTENTIAL to attract more ideal business inquiries.

SEO. Search Engine Optimization or as a gifted translator of a person I know put it to a newbie in the Weekly Writers Support Circle on Tuesday, “How your site and its content get found by people.”

Are you among the many who jumped on the WordPress/Blogging Bandwagon? Did you start excited, promise yourself you’d blog weekly or more and lose steam over time? Are you growing self-conscious that your last post was from February of 2012 or worse, in 2011? (Please read on and be gentle with yourself.)

Are you of the belief you must write according to a proven “form” or “system” or “with such intense regularity”?

How long was it before you lost your zest for writing a pithy bi- or tri-weekly post because you:

  • Ran out of “great ideas”?
  • Tired of how long it took to write a post worth publishing?
  • Got discouraged when no one commented (presuming commenting was turned on)?
  • Simply were forcing yourself to write in the first place?

Writing a blog is a wise activity when you naturally enjoy writing or can learn to love writing about your business, your process, your experiences, as yourself in a voice and tone that reflects you. It serves to let your site visitors (and potential clients) meet you even before they call or reach out via email. And who doesn’t want a warm inquiry as a business be you solo, small, medium or large in scope?

The new and exciting opportunity that blogging platforms offered was a “boon” (a gift) to those who were already prolific writers. And where once upon a time it was more difficult to get regular writing out in the world, if you weren’t also technically proficient with Website Software Programs that were Content Management Systems as well, the current era offers many CMS options.  Options that are very plug and play too.

It is Do It Yourself heaven. My first blog (that still exists) was a Blogger blog I started for myself alone in 2005. I chose a design of the 23 offered and started posting personal pieces. I actually still love that blog and its design and always mean to post to it more than I do these days. (Note to self: start next week!)

Then I met “WordPress.” It was love at first site.

Oh, WordPress! How much more I can do for myself than before and from anywhere and anytime and with relative ease. I am part of the choir that will forever love writing. I appreciate technology that lets me help myself and helps me get found that much easier. WordPress does that easily and while the Dashboard may be intimidating at first, once understood, it is LIBERATING to compose on the fly and in the cloud.

What do I say to clients who feel like they are running out of gas where writing “intelligently” and “consistently” gets in the way of writing “with creativity and enthusiasm?”

Stop trying so hard and give yourself permission to take a break.

Try crafting an editorial outline that reflects your new business goals (a professional bucket list)

Write some stories about your life and business lessons and then decide do you want to publish them or no?

Take some time to determine your ideal client and profile that person in rich detail and imagine that you are blogging to them.

If all else fails, take yourself or your dog for a walk! Get outside and get some fresh air at the very least.

Once when I was really stuck and in an unhealthy thought loop while I was on a writing deadline, I called a friend who was a professional coach for support. What did she advise me to do?

“Go outside for a walk for a minimum of 15 minutes and look for all the white and purple flowers.”

“Why?” I asked in complete confusion.

“Just do as I say please. Will you? And call me when you get back.”

So I did. And guess what happened!!! I took the walk. I saw some white and purple flowers and noticed other garden beauties too. I got home and called my friend. She asked me if I was ready to get back to it. And in truth, I was.

My Creative Block was GONE! And writing came with more ease and I liked the results.

If you aren’t a naturally obsessive writer like some of us, but see the value of blogging for business (or pure self-expression) know that becoming committed to it and enthusiastic about writing can be learned–provided you are willing. And use some tools to support you such as:

A community of like-minded people (I can recommend a great writing support group and facilitator!)

A calendar with dates you keep with yourself to write for writing sake (and take the best ideas farther!)

Practice. Practice. Practice. (You needn’t publish what you don’t want)

Read. Read. Read. (At least an hour a week the blogs of others you admire and consider…)

Commenting in a constructive and pay it forward style. (This has been known to inspire people to reciprocate!)

Use “the canvas” that inspires ease: maybe you compose emails well or write differently directly in the WordPress Post Window? Who said you have to write in a Word Doc first? (Do though save your piece to your hard drive and not just on the cloud)

Set the scene. Establish the environment. Dress the part. One client of mind laughed they might start wearing dress clothes to write for their business blog, even though they worked at home.

Try anything once to see if it frees your writing voice and stick with what works for you.

Writing and Reading and Interacting with other Writers is bound to affect your opinion of writing for business and pleasure, as well as develop a skill and an artistry in you and your own writing. Over time your skill and confidence will shift so notice and celebrate the breakthroughs.

Think of it as the equivalent of teaching yourself how to walk (fall down and get up again) or tie your shoes (bunny ears worked eventually) or learning how to print then write “cursive.”

Many talents aren’t second nature but that doesn’t mean we can’t make them so. WordPress makes blogging possible on your schedule be it planned out or in the moment.

So let’s reframe what we started with:

Chores. Serve to keep our creative energy and productivity flowing well and mastered can save us time and set us free to play that much sooner.

Blogging. It is at its most basic an opportunity to express yourself: casually, candidly, professionally, playfully, and virtually from wherever you may be wanting to capture a relevant moment.

SEO. Think of it like being on a scavenger hunt or geo-caching with a GPS device that makes it easier to find the prize. The prize being a happy client and a happy service provider or product “sold.” What are the magic words that used well get you found faster?

So knowing you have the platform, the best of motives, and the means, how about saying yes to the writer within?