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Archive for the category “blogging”

Find out about how you prevent missing the greatest treasures right before your eyes


Find out about how you prevent missing the greatest treasures right before your eyes upload_-1-3

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser, Hämelschen Burg Castle in Northern Germany

On my recent trip to my German home village in Northern Germany I visited a small little castle again that made me think about the headline above. As you can see by the photos it is a small yet very pretty little castle with a lot of rich history. The little chapel below the castle is the oldest Protestant one in Germany. Even Tilly stopped by during the 30-year war. The castle is still owned by the same family that has resided here since 1437. It is an absolute gem located close to the Pied Piper city of Hameln, which lies around one hour South West of Hannover.

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Why am I telling you about this? I missed visiting this beautiful structure and all of its history and even more so magnificent Christmas market for most of my life. It was not until I had moved out of the country and had lived in different countries that I actually visited it for the first time. The only reason I had gone back then was because I had travelled with other visitors from America who wanted to get to know my old stomping grounds. They were astounded to learn that I had not been to this place even though I had lived within 10 minutes driving time by car. Boy did I feel stupid and since that faithful trip about 15 years ago I have vowed to make a change.

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The reason why I missed out on this was that I was so used to seeing it almost daily for years. Preventing missing out on all these hidden treasures located nearby you is actually really easy in principle. All you have to do is to start planning visiting the most local sights to see in your area. If you have kids, invite them to help you out with finding sightseeing sights in your town, county, state, and surrounding states. Google should help make this really easy. Now on to the tough part: You actually have to plan seeing at least one of these sites per summer. Most of you will probably say that this is a piece of cake. Well, it is tougher than you think, especially if you have not done this before.

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Share your experience with your family and friends. Share it at work. Invite visitors to come with you on these trips. There is so much to see and explore. Just remember that it is not the things, the stuff we clutter our lives with that really matter in life – it is the experiences we help create for others and ourselves that are priceless. We are all blessed beyond measure with the richness of these sites and the people that we get to meet on the way there and back.

Ralf Weiser

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Ever thought of blogging? Check out 3 great resources


Ever thought of blogging? Check out 3 great resources Ralf a

“If I only had the time then I would be able to start blogging”. Does that sound like you? I hear this a lot. Most folks are really overwhelmed by the technical details how to get started. That is actually the simpler part of the whole endeavor.

The toughest part of this is to jump over your own shadow and make the decision to get started. Once you commit you can start figuring out how to best do this.

There is a bounty of resources that can help you get started. Here is writer Jeff Goin’s quick start up help: http://t.co/hJpn4hdD Also, here is Michael Hyatt’s advice on platform and blog building: http://michaelhyatt.com/ez-wordpress-setup.html You can be up in 8 to 20 minutes.

Next is planning out what you want to blog about. If it is your plan to monetize this eventually then you had better pick something that will provide value to the readers, but most importantly it needs to have a key focal point and clarity. No niche topic is small enough to write about consistently.

Now plan out your topics and the frequency with which you want to blog. Consistency and predictability are the most important factors next writing from the reader’s vantage point. Provide enough time slots for you to start writing out topics and then regularly start writing about them. Build up a queue of blogs that allow firing them off consistently.

Get into the habit of delivering the blog in a predictable time frame. Watch your readership increase. The secret of increasing readership has to do with being able to pick great headlines http://www.copyblogger.com/10-sure-fire-headline-formulas-that-work/ and also structuring your paragraphs. More important is to deliver content that is timeless. Finally do not demand and expect readers to just sign own; write to earn every new reader.

Make it easy to share your content and finally think about guest posting. Work with bloggers that deliver similar content. Connect with well-known bloggers and writers – never, ever ask them for favors. Just listen to what they have to share with you and perhaps they may even consider providing a guest spot, or connecting you with another great resource.

Before you know it you will see how easy it is to amass blog posts. Blogging is one of the best things I have done for my personal development. Writing about a topic provides clarity and focus. If you are interested in doing the same, all you need to do is to make the decision to start and you will be up and running in no time.

Have fun and a great week – do not forget to start, otherwise this will nag at you for a long time to come.

Ralf

9 quick ways to kick up your success in reaching out to others on social media


9 quick ways to kick up your success in reaching out to others on social media Smaller FB

At this stage of the social media and Internet game, you cannot give stuff away anymore even if it is of significant value or in the best interest for folks to take you up on your offer.

What stands in your way to make an impact on people such that they will eventually look at your mail and / or web site? Very recently I had to realize that I was not following my own advice.

  1. Personalize your message. One sure fire way for your message to be regarded as fluff and consequently you may end up in the junk mail folder in the future is to send a mass e-mail. Just did that recently myself – ouch! Use the Mail Merge function of e.g. Word and then pick the e-mail format. You can certainly try mailchimp.com as well, but make sure that there is a way to get in touch with you directly.
  2. Make it really short and relevant. This one really goes a mile. Get to the point quickly and provide an interesting headline, deliver what you want to say and have a call to action handy. Then stop and do not add any more stuff. Watch your view and reply rate climb.
  3. Your message must be congruent with what you and your brand stand for. Do you know what you and the brand YOU stand for? Ask yourself the question if the message that you are sending matches how you are being perceived.
  4. Web links have to work and point to the correct place. The more accurate your links are, the greater the chance people will actually check them out. Also, this extra effort pays off in the long run, as it increases trust. Would you trust opening someone’s links if the last time they ended up in never-never-land?
  5. Spell and syntax check. Too simple and irrelevant you say to yourself? You could not be more wrong. I have had people comment on my mistakes in blogs and guess what, it doesn’t breed trust does it? Your credibility is going down the tubes and it is tough regaining ground. Make sure to spell check and proof read your stuff at least twice before you click on send.
  6. Free has to mean FREE. No left hooks please. Keep what you promise. Nothing is worse for folks to figure out that what they signed up for is really only for free for a little while. There are many caveats to this one and a whole gaggle of marketers mess this one up really badly. Once you burn a prospect with this one, you will unlikely ever end up with an order.
  7. Quality almost always trumps quantity. Drive up your content and make it count. Send this out fewer times rather than carpet bomb your followership with mails. Some follow up never hurts, but do not start stalking people. Are you in it for significance or just success?
  8. Readers choose with their mouse clicks. That is a very sobering realization, isn’t it? The people whose opinion who should be listening to will never drop you a mail, or take the time to find out what your phone number is. That is the kind of feedback you need though. The power of the Internet and the social media that comes with it, is extremely powerful (there are better and best practices). Any click you miss will lead almost always to a chronic lack of information.
  9. Timely response to follow up questions is a must. Common sense isn’t common practice and thus this one unfortunately also does not automatically go without stating the obvious: When you put yourself out there, than make sure all answers and requests are in cue for answering them in a timely fashion. Otherwise, it would be better to not even ask for any feedback or commentary in the first place.

One final thought to share is that sometimes it may be better to increase the price rather than watering your rock star content down. Please have at it, if you want to venture into philanthropy though. To most folks free means there is a lingering commitment hook around when they open up your stuff. If it is great content and your brand name is established, and you think you need to do more free marketing leave the pricing alone. It may seem counter intuitive, but I think it is more powerful when you go for significance and congruence.

Ralf

Unanswered questions are corporate enemy number one


Unanswered questions are corporate enemy number one Ralf a

Two key questions come to mind: What do I need and what do I need to know in order to do my job? Yes, Mr leader-manager that would be your employees whom you leave hanging when you or your key leaders fail to communicate sufficiently. Oh, you think this ought to be perfectly clear since everybody (hopefully) has a job description. Think again. Typically job descriptions do not list the authority that any given employee has. Also, neither job description, nor employee handbook cover pieces of information that I would label as tribal knowledge (aka corporate culture). Or are seemingly inane details covered such as who orders ordering paper clips or coffee when they are out?

There is of course an antidote to this costly issue. For one you should allow time for regular one-on-one time with each of your direct reports. Make sure you make it their time not yours when you spend quality time with them. Have regular department meetings. On the agenda: One part of general information where you, the department and the company are header and the other part could be about the status of this year’s goals and how it affects the team members. Last but not least think about having a weekly state of the company meeting. 15 minutes standing up and with everybody. This works well with up to 80 people assuming you have a public space big enough. Topics can be open book financial report, success / challenge report outs, sales/engineering/customer support report out, ……. insert your own ideas here.

How can you up your game? That is simpler than you may think. Ponder what questions your folks should be asking. Prepare some answers before you meet with your team members. Good luck!

Ralf

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