Archives for May 2014

Whatever Your Calling, Be Sure to Have Fun!

We each have our own unique set of gifts and talents. And when we use them, we make the world around us a better place. But sometimes, we can get so caught up in completing our goals, that we take the fun out of something we used to enjoy. I know I’ve found myself in that spot more than once.

So, today, as reflect on those who have given their all so that we have the freedom to give our best, take a few minutes to relax, enjoy and reconnect with those who are important to our lives. They’re the reason that we’re doing what we’re doing, after all!

That connection will fuel you to do whatever it is that you are uniquely called to do in this life, and to make sure that you never let the fun be sapped out of it. Believe me, it’s contagious to those around you and “fills your tank” for the next challenge ahead.

You know what I’d love to see? Share a link in the comments below to something (or someone) that reminds or inspires you to have fun or, better yet, share your own video of you following your calling and making it an experience for those around you!

And then, go out and have some fun today!

An Interview with Chris Westfall, the National Elevator Pitch Champion

Chris Westfall, author of BulletProof BrandingThis month’s Featured Author is Chris Westfall. To most folks, he’s known as a speaker who is the National Elevator Pitch Champion, the owner of Westfall Online, and the author of The NEW Elevator Speech and BulletProof Branding.

People turn to him when they have a very specific problem that needs addressing. You know the one… It’s that feeling when you are so close, but not quite there yet? Yeah… That one…

Well, Chris helps people move beyond that so that their business and brand can flourish.

And while I appreciate all of those things about Chris, to me he is also a great friend, colleague, inspiration and client. He’s just one of the sweetest guys I know. Every conversation I have with him leaves me smiling, and I’m pleased to be able to introduce you to him today.

So without further ado, here are Chris’ answers to my Featured Author interview questions… [Read more…]

How to Host a Successful Online Video Event

For book promotion, or when engaging in author promotion of any sort, one of the best ways to keep some buzz around your name is through an online speaking event.

Videoconferencing has grown in leaps and bounds since the old days of awkward, clunky meetings on unreliable, shaky technology. New platforms provide authors and speakers the ability to truly engage instead of just speaking, and this is great, whether your video event allows you to join a small book discussion group or speak at a large virtual conference.

Follow this guide to making your online event a success.

Treat online events with the same seriousness and formality that you would a live, in-person event.

Google+ and Google Authorship

Often overlooked as an off-brand, second-tier social media network, Google+ is definitely something to be considered by authors. If you’re not a part of it, get started by signing up for Google Authorship.

The Google Authorship program does more than any other online tool to help with branding, author promotion, book promotion, etc.

When you are enrolled in the Authorship program, Google starts assessing the online content you create to determine your influence. As your readers become more engaged with your content, and as you develop stronger expertise in your field, Google starts to weight your content as being influential (and, by extension, you!). This can have a significant impact on how optimized your content is for the search engine.

While it only takes a few minutes to set up, it can be the difference between relative online obscurity and starting to gain more visibility. [Read more…]

Using Trello to Manage Your Activities

I don’t know about you, but a common characteristic I see in authors (and professionals, and busy people in general) is that they’re not quite as organized as they could be.

Trello logoIt’s not that they’re incapable of being organized (for the most part), but that there are so many little details they’re trying to keep track of, that things tend to fall through the cracks. It’s not intentional. It just happens.

Even when I’m doing a repetitive project, like formatting a book interior or creating a website, having a checklist of things to do so that I don’t forget anything is extremely helpful. I can focus on the “doing” instead of the “remembering what I’d intended to do” part.

Whenever I run into a consistent problem area in my life, rather than letting it remain an issue, I look for a solution. And, in this case, I found Trello.

Have you ever heard of it?

Not only does it solve my own organizational issues, but it also is a great collaboration tool! [Read more…]

My Long-Awaited Story Cartel Results

Story Cartel logoEarlier this year, I wrote about my experiences using Story Cartel, a service that connects willing reviewers with authors in need of honest reviews for their books.

I discussed my reasons for giving away my book for free and how I got more book reviews using Story Cartel.

Since the first of those posts covered my thoughts prior to trying the service, and the latter was my perspective of things as the experience was drawing to an end, I promised that I would post one final wrap-up post for those who wanted to hear the final outcome.

Unfortunately, I got busy with other subjects and never came back to pull together all the numbers that you might be interested in.

Hoping you’ll feel that it’s better late than never, I’m finally pulling that information together for you. [Read more…]