Thursday, June 19, 2014

How YOU Fascinate

I became a fan of Sally Hogshead in 2011 after reading her book, Fascinate - the 7 Triggers to Fascination and Captivation.  The premise of her work is that in an overcrowded, 24/7 world our ability to fascinate translates into our ability to influence - whether we are talking about our products or our personal brand.

The first time I took her Fascination Advantage Assessment I admit to being a bit skeptical. Twenty-eight questions that take as little as five minutes to answer seemed unlikely to provide me with any information that I could use. 

Let me say, I was wrong. The insight the assessment gave me was pretty amazing. This is a sample of what I got.

There is a lot more detail in the report than this image - and I will say - yes - I found every bit to resonate.

I was hooked. 

I started to recommend the assessment to anyone who worked with me. I find it extraordinarily useful when someone is working on their digital profile and personal brand to understand how the world sees them and how to use that to their advantage. 

I've incorporated it into my digital marketing class. Capturing someone's attention is no easy feat in a world where our average attention span has now shrunk to eight seconds - less than that of a goldfish! Learning what can trigger our fascination is useful information and what better place to start than learning how we personally trigger fascination.

Sally's newest book, How The World Sees YOU - Discover Your Highest Value Through The Science Of Fascination, releases on July 1. Needless to say - I can hardly wait to read it! And in fact, I am so excited I am including a copy of the book along with the Fascination Advantage Assessment in the price of Your Digital You - the blueprint - the workshop designed to improve your digital presence on June 24.

But now there is even more!  The How to Fascinate Team has very generously offered me a special code to spread to my networks that allows you access to the assessment -valued at $37 - for FREE wherever in the world you happen to reside! 

All you need to do is go to this link , enter the code YDY to create a user account and get started!  Just keep in mind that this offer is limited to 1000 people and expires on July 24!!

The more we know about ourselves the more advantages we have in all aspects of our lives - online and offline. This is a great tool to get you started! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How Social Networks Like Twitter Can Influence

When you go to a conference like the SHE Summit you leave with a lot of things. Renewed connections. New contacts. Ideas. A goodie bag. A pile of notes. And a lot of inspiration.

The writer and the teacher in me is always looking for themes. Especially ones that circle back to the work I do. So when I hear people like Norma Kamali, Mariane Pearl and Kelly Rutherford reiterate the power and importance of sharing our story and how technology allows us access to more story, I admit to getting a bit tingly.

Or when Margaret White discusses social media with Krystal Ball and how it is a platform through which to drive change, I can barely stay in my seat. 

I know things have changed when not one, not two, but three people with Greek names as difficult to spell and pronounce as mine grace the stage - Eleni Gianopoulos of Eleni's Cookies, Evy Poumpouras, former Secret Service Agent and on-air Security and Investigative Analyst and of course my good friend Agapi Stassinopoulos, inspirational speaker and author of Unbinding the Heart. 

But I also know they haven't changed enough when the conversation continually turns to the fact that as far as women might have come from the days of Marlo Thomas' character in "That Girl" (yes - she spoke too and I was a bit star struck!) we haven't come far enough. Whether it was Geraldine Moriba of CNN or Ambassador Samantha Power sharing their stories or Justine Aitel, head of Cyber Risk at Dow Jones discussing the need for better role models so young girls will go into technology - the consensus was clear. 

Change is happening - but not everywhere - and not enough. 

This past Sunday the NY Times reported the list of the 200 highest paid CEOs and only 11 were women. 

Which gives pause that there is still much work to do.

As Marlo Thomas so beautifully illustrated in paraphrasing her acting teacher, Lee Strasberg - acting is in the doing and so is change. Take a step and one step leads to another and to another and to another. 

Which takes me back to Krystal Ball's conversation with Margaret White. In 2014 that step can be as small as optimizing the impact you - just one person - can have using a social network like Twitter.  

Twitter's influence is disproportionate to the amount of people who actually use it. And it's no secret that the Media is using it to find their stories. Turn on any show today and they've figured out a way to incorporate Twitter into the mix  or at the very least report on what Twitter is saying.

So use it. Tweet something relevant or useful. And occasionally funny. Share something someone else tweeted. Listen to what else is being shared. And see what you might influence.

At the end of the day on Thursday, Claudia Chan, the creator of the SHE Summit announced the event was trending on Twitter in NYC. I'd like to think at least one or two of my tweets contributed to this event getting the attention it deserves. 

That's what taking a step or a tweet can do. And as Marlo reminded us - one leads to another and to another. That's how you influence in a digital age. That's how things change.

Try it - if you like this blog - click this link to tweet! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The #1 Reason People Ignore Their Digital Profiles

Before I started working with people on improving their digital profiles I thought what was holding back most from paying attention to how they looked online was fear.

Fear of all these new tools. The little things like deciding which social network is best for their needs and how to find a Google+ community that makes sense

Fear of losing their privacy. Creating that LinkedIn profile that now broadcasts our work histories to the world can be a little disconcerting at first - even if the truth is that information can already be found online if one looks hard enough.

I was right about there being fear. But wrong about which one looms much greater than how to use digital tools and worries over privacy. 

The biggest fear is getting to what our story really is. 

Asking ourselves the  tough questions -

Like what do I do?
Why do I do this?
Who do I serve?

And the real stumper - what makes me remarkable?

Watch what happens when you ask someone that question. Most start to shake. They'll look away, contort their face into a grimace, pretend the question wasn't asked. There might be a nervous giggle and more than one is ready to back out of the room.  

And few believe me when I tell them there is something remarkable about all of us. We just have to take the time to look at ourselves - not just as we see us - but as Sally Hogshead says - the world sees us.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Upside Of The Stress Of Keeping Up In A Digital World

It’s not easy keeping up in a digital world.

You take off for a week - to a location where internet service is unstable - not to mention expensive. The withdrawal gives you the shakes. You find yourself distracted in conversation, your hand keeps reaching for that iPhone, certain there is something important happening inside of it that you can’t get to. You worry your business might suffer and no one will sign up for your June workshops because you are suddenly absent from Twitter and haven’t blogged in a week. That fear you are missing out on something happening somewhere else is getting in the way of where you are. You keep hearing Agapi and her sister Arianna Huffington reminding you of what their mother used to say  - “don’t miss the moment” - but you realize you probably are anyway.

It takes a few days and slowly but surely, the stress subsides. The sunshine, the blue skies, the sand and the sound of the ocean win out. The views are breathtaking. A camera cannot do it justice.  Everywhere you turn you are surrounded by family and friends, some new, some old. There is laughter and conversation - the live and in person kind - not the texting kind. Joy and love fills the air - after all you are here to celebrate the marriage of two wonderful young people who found their soul mates. You dance under the stars to a live band and feel transported to that time not so long ago - before technology had overrun your life and it was still possible to hide from the rest of the world.

You come back - relaxed and tan and happy and yes - a little bit excited to sit in front of your computer and catch up and get back to the work you love.

But within hours you’re overwhelmed. 

There are 500 unopened emails in your inbox, most of which are junk, but you have to go through anyway in case an important one is hidden in the bunch. You vow to unsubscribe to them all even though you know you won’t. Your page views on your blog have shrunk. All those creative ideas that were running through your head on what to write next while you were sitting under the shade of an umbrella negotiating with a local for that multicolored sarong with the sequins that caught your eye has suddenly disappeared into the ether. LinkedIn reminds you it has “been 8 days…since your last update. Share something new to stay top of mind.” The 8 days are written in bold red.

You start to wonder if you really do love all this technology as much as you think you do. You question if you can really keep up or if you even want to.

Then you sign on to Facebook and notice you have new friend requests from the people you just met. Those same people are sharing pictures from the big group vacation instigated by this destination wedding. People are commenting and liking and you get to relive each moment. 

You can’t stop smiling. 

And you remember - this is why you keep up. This is why you love all these social networks and digital tools. For the connections that get to continue when face to face is not an option.