5 Ways Your Business Can Make the World a Better Place

Flashback: I’m seventeen and my mom and I are driving somewhere, talking about my future career goals. College application season was in full swing so the topic weighed heavy on me. What did I want to study?

My mom would have loved for me to pursue acting or journalism, but I wanted to study business and go into advertising or marketing. Rebel.

Some people know exactly what they want to do and go for it. But I was never the person who had an early calling on any one thing. Maybe you can relate? My attention span is too short, my interests too varied.

From age ten, one of my older brothers wanted to be a lawyer. And at fifty, he’s now…a successful lawyer. How I envied such clarity.

Some of my friends wanted to be doctors, teachers, scientists. Wanting to make a difference myself, I was torn up by my non-philanthropic career goals. I longed to create, communicate and impact in my own way, like running marketing for a city arts or theatre company.

“Maria, it’s okay to do something you love,” Mom said. “Not everyone can pursue a ‘noble’ profession. Things still need to get done. But you can still do good in the world, no matter what you do for a living.”

This conversation is a hazy memory, I’m not sure if it was real or imagined. Regardless, it has shaped my world view.

My deeper purpose has always been to engage, inform and delight with my work in order to make the world a better place. And it informs one of my primary values: With great success comes great responsibility.

With great success comes great responsibility: 5 ways your biz can make the world better @redslice Click To Tweet

We don’t all have the drive to join the PeaceCorps. We can’t all run into burning buildings to save puppies. Our work may not involve curing cancer or advancing world peace, but we can do many philanthropic things with our businesses.

Here are five ways your business can make the world a better place:

  1. Donate a percentage of profits: You can use your good fortune to help worthy causes. This type of social entrepreneurship is getting more and more popular. Why not make yourself successful so you can in turn support honorable causes? You can do this consistently or with special promotions. You could become a one-for-one company and donate an item to people in need for every item you sell like Tom’s or Embrace Baby Warmers. If you can’t be in the trenches, find a way to use your profits to support those who are.
  2. Give the gift of giving back: I do this every year at the holidays. Instead of useless mugs or pens that will just get lost or thrown away, I thank my clients and partners by allowing them to choose from a selection of my favorite charities and I give a gift in their name. They remember my brand with respect, feel good about not cluttering their desk, and the organization gets the resources to continue its good work. #winning
  3. Take on a pro bono project: My friend used to run a design agency and every quarter they would take on one pro bono project to help a community organization. They had deep values in promoting social good and did a lot of paid work for socially responsible companies. Those paid gigs enabled them to generously donate their time and talent to help local worthy causes with tiny budgets. And side bonus: the PR was priceless.
  4. Choose your clients wisely: No one says you have to serve organizations who pollute the environment or product marketers who scam old people. It’s your business! You absolutely have the right and responsibility to define your values and work only with people or brands who do no harm. This includes partners. The more you support those kinds of people or businesses, the more we all win.
  5. Be a good, authentic person: You can choose to add to the scandalous marketing trash out there polluting our hearts and minds or you can rise above. Stay truthful in your advertising. You are called to create something that matters, so offer value and substance. Be good to your customers and clients. Show empathy. Keep your word. You can only control yourself, so be the example.

Image Credit via Flickr

How To Be Seen as an Expert…Or Increase Your Influence If You Already Are One

There are two common challenges people claim when trying to build an expert, influential brand. Do either of these sound familiar?

People don’t listen to my ideas or see me an expert even though I know my stuff really well because I lack credentials/the right degree/level of experience.


Everyone says they’re “experts” these days, but I really am one! I’ve earned it. But I can’t break through with all these upstarts and savvy social media players out there claiming to be experts.

It can be hard to rise above the “expert pollution” out there. It seems like any young upstart with an Instagram account, an IPhone and YouTube can come along and claim their “expert status” in an instant, while your years of hard-won experience or valuable content fall on deaf ears.

Conversely, there are many people without fancy degrees, huge followings or gray hair who really know their stuff. They have valuable insights and advice to share but are dismissed because they are not “well known.”

In both cases, it’s just downright frustrating when your authentic expertise and true talents are not recognized by others. That’s why it’s so important to intentionally cultivate an “expert brand” in order to grow your business.

Branding expert and author Dorie Clark states:

“In a world where too many people claim to be experts, it becomes even more important to be one, and ensure the right people know it.” (TWEET THIS!)

She wrote two wonderful topics on this subject that I think you’ll enjoy:

As Dorie says, “When you’re just starting out in a field, or lack blue-chip affiliations, it may be hard to persuade others to listen to your ideas, even if they’re groundbreaking and valuable.” She offers four strategies to help you get people to listen and make an impact.

  • If you’re already an expert but want to expand your influence even further, please check out her article, “3 Rules for Experts Who Want More Influence.” Chris Brogan weighs in to this article on the vital importance of your email list in increasing your ”recognized expert” status!


Photo credit: Jason Rosewell, Unsplash

Do you face challenges in not having your expertise recognized by others, or do you have questions on how to cultivate your expertise to grow your business? Would love to hear what you think!

Why Face-to-Face in an Internet World Matters

Why face to face in an internet world matters

Branding expert and author Dorie Clark first came on my radar when I saw a powerful video about bravely being yourself and not allowing others to define your brand. Inspired, I began following her work: Harvard Business Review, Forbes and Entrepreneur columnist, TEDx speaker, professor at Duke University, consultant for Fortune 500 companies.

This woman clearly knew how to build a recognized and influential brand that stands out.

And she seemed so…..nice.

In 2014, I boldly reached out to her to offer a free copy of my book, Branding Basics for Small Business, 2nd Edition. If you dig it and you have the time, I emailed, I would so appreciate a kind Amazon review. She didn’t know me from Adam. But she kindly read the book, enjoyed it, and gave me a lovely review.

We developed an Internet friendship: Sharing posts, retweeting each other, and occasionally emailing.  Dorie is seriously one of the most generous people I know.

In 2016, we finally met in person when Dorie kindly invited me to an intimate dinner gathering. She was in town for business and curated a group of interesting and accomplished people who simply “needed to know each other.” It was such an amazing night! I met authors, philanthropists, and savvy business consultants. Dorie even facilitated the lively discussion so we could share both personal and professional happenings.

Dorie is smart and savvy and understands how valuable these face-to-face connections are in an Internet-fueled world. They open doors, build your personal brand and enable you to connect and promote in a friendly, comfortable environment.  She organizes these dinners everywhere she goes in the world.

To learn more about why and how she organizes these dinners, so you might do something similar, please read this great article she wrote.

You can’t just hide behind your screen 24/7 and expect to make a name for yourself or your business.  I know, the introverts out there are shaking in their boots, but you can do this in intimate groups or one-on-one, not just at chaotic, crowded conferences!

If you want to increase your visibility and become a recognized expert, make time for face-to-face connections. (TWEET THIS!)

The personal touch cuts through the clutter. Nothing can build your brand like shaking hands, sharing a cocktail and looking each other in the eye. And yes, giving each other big hugs at the evening’s end!

Image Credit via Flickr

Choose Love

You are a maker. You’re a doer. You’re a business owner.

You write. Or create art. Or teach others.


I don’t care if you’re just starting out or have been at this awhile.  Your email list may consist of your mom and your best friend. You may only have 100 Twitter followers.

Or you may reach tens of thousands each week. You may serve hundreds of customers each month.

Wherever you are, use what you’ve got.

Never underestimate the importance of your work or message. It may seem trite, but if you can influence or inspire even just a few, then you have done your job well.

Now more than ever, in these tumultuous times…when folks are feeling raw, vulnerable and afraid…now is the time to use your voice and choose love. (TWEET THIS!)

Not “love” in the romantic sense, but like this:

  • Love yourself and be self-confident so you don’t feel the need to bully others or let bullies win over you
  • Love your neighbor so that all people can feel accepted and appreciated
  • Love your clients so you can bring real, honest value to them
  • Love your customers so you can make their lives better with your products or services
  • Love you partners so you can create wins for that benefit everyone
  • Love your community so you can collectively pull everyone up together
  • Love your environment so its beauty and nourishment enriches generations to come
  • Love your family and friends so they have a firm foundation to fully spread their own love to others

Here’s what I know to be true: No matter what your religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation, the only thing that matters is how you show up in the world and love. You are the example when you think no one is watching – because sometimes only YOU are watching, and you want to be proud of what you see.

Give thanks for the gifts you’ve been given. Start small and share them with whoever is in your circle of influence right now. If that’s just your family and friends, choose love. If that’s tens of thousands of email subscribers or Instagram followers, choose love.

We’re in this together. But do your part. Show up. Choose love. (TWEET THIS!)

THANK YOU so very, very much for being part of my tribe. Thank you for letting me inspire, inform and love you – whether I deliver practical business info or motivational advice. My goal is to make your life + work better. If I do, please share this post with a friend or colleague. And if you’re not already on my weekly list, please sign up below. Thank you!

Image Credit via Flickr

5 Ways to Make Marketing More Enjoyable

5.24.165ways to Make Marketing Fun (Blog)

I adore business owners that say they hate promotion. It’s super cute.

This comes in other forms as well: I hate sales, I hate networking, I hate marketing.  hate writing.

Why so much hate?

If this is you, let me comfort you a little bit. It’s not that you “hate” any of those things. Truly. Please save hate for things like reconciling your books or filling out government forms.

I believe that what you actually hate is the way you think it has to be done. Somewhere along the way, you associated cheesy spokespeople, ego-centric self promoters and jargon-filled web copy as “marketing.”

If you are trying to send any sort of message to the world, be it attracting customers or promoting a book or asking for donations, then you are a marketer.

You should be the most excited person in the world to share your story and your value. If not you, then who?

If talking about and promoting your work doesn’t light you up, then why should your audience care? (TWEET THIS!)

So let’s banish all of your old notions about what promotion “should” be, shall we? Here are 5 spicy ways to make marketing more fun:

  1. Make friends, don’t “network”: If you go a BBQ and you don’t know anyone, isn’t it fun to stumble upon an interesting person or someone you want to get to know better over coffee? You’re meeting them casually, letting mutual interests guide the conversation, and you can see if you click….or not. The truth is that we do business with people we like. Not everyone is going to appreciate that snarky sense of humor but then c’mon over to my house, because I’ll love you! If you want people to know about your business, you have to…you know, be around people! Offline AND online. Instead of tensing yourself up into a stress ball the next time you have to” attend a networking event, think of it like a block party. Who do you like talking to? Who is interesting? Who did you exchange knowing grins with when you made that sarcastic crack about the boring speaker? Give yourself the challenge of meeting one (just ONE!) interesting or cool person at your next function or in your LinkedIn group or wherever and see where it takes you.

Read: The 11 Laws of Likability by Michelle Lederman and I’m at a Networking Event—Now What??? By Sandy Jones-Kaminski

  1. Write Love Letters, Not Sales Pages: Maybe you’d rather dance on hot coals than write….anything. Or perhaps you’re a little less extreme and would just rather not write “sales copy.” Again, you may hate this because you’re conditioned to think it has to sound like a cheesy infomercial or that you simply must have tons of BUY NOW!!! arrows all over a 9-mile long page. Not true. The best sales pages are those that speak to the benefits the potential buyer gets, of course, but they are also personal and approachable. No one wants to be sold to, but everyone wants to be wooed! Approach your next sales page like a love letter: I know you crave x, y, and z, Maria, and this is why you’ll love what I made for you!” Think about how you convince your friends to read a new book or try a new restaurant that you love. You’re excited, not robotic. You talk about all the reasons they would like it. You immediately text them the link so they don’t even have to make an effort. Treat your sales copy like your next juicy recommendation to a friend and see how much more you enjoy writing it!

Do: Need more inspiration to get your writing juices flowing? Try this creative tip from Melissa Cassera. And here’s a fabulous template from Alexandra Franzen if you need one. Oh, and total thanks to verbalizing this concept goes to my friends and collaborators Alex and Melissa (I never titled it anything as eloquent!)

  1. Automate Where You Can: Rather than dying a slow death every day, batch and automate as much as you can for the week (or month, if you can be that on top of things.). If you can set it and forget it, it’s a lot less painful. I know a few successful solopreneurs that batch all their blog posts by locking themselves in a hotel for a weekend and cranking out content for the next six months. Then they just schedule the blog posts, all the associated social media posts to drive traffic and BAM, simply check in on comments when it goes live. If they even use Comments. Some folks choose not to do this.

Try: BufferApp, Hootsuite, Missing Lettr.

  1. Take an Improv Class or Join Toastmasters: If you have something to share with the world, you have to be able to tell them about it. No getting around it. If public speaking–whether giving a simple elevator pitch, running a small workshop or presenting a keynote to thousands­–horrifies you as much as the thought of a world without wine (GASP!), face your fear. Part of your anxiety comes from lack of practice or fear of the unexpected. Like anything else, the more you do something, the better you will get at it. Sharpen your skills and make a game out of it! Take a local improv class to get comfortable with thinking on the fly (and to get comfortable in your own body, which could be something adding to your angst.) And have fun doing it! I, personally, adore public speaking because there is no greater honor quite like enlightening and inspiring a person right in front of you and to see their eyes light up! When you attack your fear head-on, you will not only defeat the bully, you may find this is a wonderful and fulfilling way to spread your message.

Do: Type “Find an improv class” into Google. Join a local Toastmasters chapter.

Read: The Introvert Entrepreneur by Beth Buelow. And these 10 tips to improve your public speaking skills.

  1. When all else fails, outsource: OK, so there might be some ongoing marketing tasks that you really do loathe. That’s fine. You can always outsource tasks that bring you no joy or on which your time would be better spent elsewhere. Look to a virtual assistant (VA), intern, agency, consultant or perhaps even a new hire. You can find great inexpensive resources on sites such as Upwork, Fiverr and 99Designs­ but you need to be very selective and clear on what you want in these places, as they attract all levels of talent. Some specific folks I turn to are Worldwide101 for my VA, Virtually Savvy for social media management, Hey Eleanor for copywriting, and Tiny Blue Orange for website management. For interns, contact your local college or university to find business, marketing or communications students who are looking for internship opportunities.

Image Credit via Flickr

“I am not a marketer.”


Do any of these refrains sound familiar?

“I don’t know what I don’t know about brand. Why do I need it?”

“I hate marketing, I’m not interested in being the star of the show. It feels slimy.”

And my favorite (and the most common):

“I’m not a marketer.”

Don’t get me wrong. The fact that folks have these beliefs is why I have steady employment and I’m more than happy to serve.

But let me be clear: You are a marketer. (Tweet me!)

You may not know the ins and outs of writing a killer blog post, or how to do Facebook ads correctly or why you need a messaging platform…..but you are a marketer.

Marketing, in my view, is about sharing the passionate truth of your story to the right people so that they know you solve a problem they have – or you can deliver something to them that they really, really crave.

When it comes down to it, your work either helps people avoid pain or find pleasure. Whatever that “pain” might be: struggling in business, feeling lonely, spending too much money. Or…whatever that “pleasure” might be: saving money, losing weight, gaining confidence, etc.

Marketing is NOT: Lying, coercion, extortion, bragging, selfish or cruel. While many soda, food companies or politician may not subscribe to this is beside the point.

FACT: Marketing is communication.

If you enjoy what you do, if it provides value for people and if you’re excited about talking about it, then guess what? That’s marketing.

Whenever you overdeliver for clients, delight customers, or tell someone about your cool new offering or snazzy new product with all the zeal of a tween at Bieber concert, you are marketing.

Doesn’t mean you still can’t grow and learn exactly which steps to take and how to get to success.

Never again let me hear you say, “You are not a marketer.”

There is a brand and marketing genius inside you, bursting to get out. You just need Glinda to the Good Witch (a.k.a, me) to show you how to use those ruby slippers you’ve been wearing all along and guide you down the right road to get home.

What Are Your Profound Epiphanies?

10.27.15RoadNotTaken (blog)

Life is full of what I like to call profound epiphanies. They sneak up on you when you’re in the shower, driving along belting out show tunes in your car, or perhaps while unplugged and enjoying the ocean crashing at your feet.

These epiphanies, I find, often occur when you’re thinking about how your life would have turned out in a parallel universe. If you’d made that choice. If you had not said yes to that date. What are your proverbial forks in the road? For me, the big ones are the many different jobs I’ve had and cities I’ve lived in, breaking off my first engagement and moving to California in 1999. The course of my life and career changed dramatically as a result of all these crucial decisions. And I am blessed and better for it all.

Are you grateful in your life for the road not taken? Perhaps there was a job you really, really wanted that fell through…and it let you to instead work for the company that launched your career. Or you started a business that ended in a bloody epic fail…and you learned all the things not to do so that your next venture was a smashing success.

We all know the trite saying that we learn from our mistakes. I would argue that, really and truly, there are no mistakes. Sure, there are things we regret. Like dating that bad boy who broke our heart, becoming business partners with someone we barely knew, or spending a ridiculous amount of money on a marketing campaign that went no where fast.

But every bad decision, toxic relationship or questionable call moves you further through the book of your life. And you can’t get to Chapter 100 without the other 99 coming first. It would be a different book. You’d be a different person.

What opportunities would you have missed? What joys might you never have known? What careers would you never have explored?

When thinking about your past mistakes and regrets, be gentle with yourself and observe them with gratitude. (Tweet this!)

It’s easy to say, “Well, my life would be a cakewalk if I had only (FILL IN THE BLANK.” But you didn’t. You’re here, now. And look around at what you have. Had all those events not occurred, you would not be the person you are now. Richer. Fuller. Smarter.

I invite you to flip your thinking on your would-have’s and should have’s. What are you grateful you learned? Who or what is wonderful in your life of business now as a result of those decisions? My older brother once told me, during a very bad relationship in my life, that every act or decision is simply a brick and it’s easy to say, “Heck, this is just a brick. I can live with this.” But eventually all those bricks make a wall. And you wonder how the heck you got here. While he meant it in the negative sense of that particular instance, I challenge you to look at it positively…not as a wall, but a road. A road that led you to the person you are now. The person you would never be had those things not happened.

What are your big forks in the road when it comes to your career, business or life? What profound epiphanies do they give you? Please share in the Comments below!

Image credit: Cristian Bortes via Flickr

4 Things You’re Doing to Sabotage Your Business on Social Media

10.14.15SocialMediaSaboteurs (Blog)

Starting a Twitter account and sending five tweets a day is not enough.

Requesting connections from everyone you’ve ever worked with on LinkedIn is not enough.

Sending a daily email to your subscribers is not enough.

I mean, sure, those things can work for you. But not if you’re not doing them right.

Most companies, from one-person shops to global corporations, now recognize they need to get busy on social media. And in that same vein, many companies (from one-person shops to global corporations) do things on social media that make me smack my hand against my head and cry out, “Whhhhhyyyyy can’t you get out of your own way?!”

Are you engaging in any of these four behaviors on social media? If you are, I’m guessing you are not seeing the results you’d like. You’re not attracting new fans, your content is not being shared – and you’re not generating clicks, sales or new donors­–depending on what you desire.

Saboteur #1: BUY! BUY! BUY!

If all you’re doing is using your social media account to push your products, you may as well stop wasting your time. Social media marketing is about engaging your potential customers. You want to woo them over time and deliver exceptional value so when they are ready to buy, they will turn to you. This means posting content they care about, not content you care about, and inviting interaction. Remember, social media is not a billboard, it’s a conversation (more on this below.) They don’t want to be sold to….yet. You are in the courtship phase, so try to keep your content relevant, interesting, and valuable about 85% of the time. Can you offer advice related to your offerings, feature success stories, share interesting articles? This is why blogging or podcasts are so great, as it gives you valuable content to share that is not solely about sales. Once you prove that you offer value, then you can push “product” the other 15% of the time. But do it gracefully, tactfully. If you offer enough value the majority of the time, your audience will not mind the occasional plug for your products or services because they will already be raving fans. Don’t be that brand that constantly screams at your audience to buy. What’s intriguing or worth sharing about that if I don’t trust you well enough to want to advocate for you?

Saboteur #2: I, Robot

Social media is S-O-C-I-A-L. Would you go to a neighborhood barbeque or cocktail party and use unnatural jargon, talk about yourself in the third person or act stiff and formal? Of course not. You shouldn’t do that in social media, either. You need to speak like a real human would to other humans. This is how you create a connection and engage your audience. Be clever. Use slang. Reference pop culture. Curse a little, if that is who your brand is. If you can, have those posting on social media be transparent, speak in the first person, and share personal experiences. Speak the language of your audience. People relate to people, not a soulless brand robot. Customers will want to interact with, share and stay loyal to a personality, not a pitch.

Saboteur #3: Automating Customer Service

I know, I know. Many larger companies have to scale and cut costs somehow. But it’s painful when you get a Tweet response to a complaint and it’s blatantly obvious the reply is from a bot and not a real person. Especially if the response has nothing to do with the actual issue. Virgin America and Jet Blue do a phenomenal job of reacting quickly and personally to any issue you raise on Twitter. Follow their accounts to get a taste for how your social media customer service should be working. And yes, as with all useful tactics, it requires time and investment.

Saboteur #4: One-Way is the Only Way

Once again, social media is social. You can automate a lot of your posting but you are still responsible for jumping in and interacting with your fans and followers. You don’t have to do it everyday, but someone has to do it. There is a publishing house I follow that automates all their Tweets and every single one promotes one of their books. That’s it. There is no other valuable content being pushed out (see #1), no engagement or interaction, no questions for folks to chew on. Not even any shared articles or interesting advice. It’s so obvious this is just a “set and forget” strategy and this is why they are not seeing any return on their effort investment. You can’t just push out your agenda like a billboard and expect to be shared, clicked or enjoyed. Share interesting posts. Thank folks for Re-tweets (but you don’t need to do this every single time, as it makes for a boring stream!). Give shout-outs to customers, connect folks you know to each other, promote what other colleagues have going on, pose questions, start a Twitter chat or Google Hangout. There are lots of ways to interact with your followers. But you have to jump in there and do it every now and then.

Bottom line: If you are doing social media “wrong” you may as well stop wasting your time and focus your energy elsewhere. There are plenty of other ways to build a business, but if you want to see true ROI, avoid these landmines. (Tweet this!)

Which of the above is the greatest “A Ha!” for you? Have you found a clever way to work around some of these saboteurs like a stealthy ninja to ensure your social media shines? Please share in the Comments below!

5 Books to Ignite Your Business and Brand in the New Year

1.6.15 ignite your business (blog)

You have big plans for the New Year. I just know it! You want to build your business, increase your brand awareness, streamline your marketing efforts and, essentially, get your irresistible message out there – with style and grace, naturally.

Whether you are a business owner, or have a book, cause, or project to get off the ground, here are five plucky and practical books I recommend to amplify your message and ignite your efforts this year. (Tweet this!)

Propel: Five Ways to Amp Up Your Marketing and Accelerate Business

Whitney Keyes is a consultant, international speaker and professor who offers smart, simple and super fast marketing strategies for organizations big and small. Plus, she’s a trusted colleague and I’ve seen her work her magic first-hand. This book breaks down a marketing and sales plan into something doable, practical and – dare I say – fun to execute.

I’m at a Networking Event—Now What??? A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Any Networking Event

This book will make you love and appreciate the art of networking. Seriously. Whether you’re an introvert, or simply and extrovert who hates business card-swapping and idle small talk, Sandy Jones-Kaminski is a networking maven and shows you how to network the right way so its fun and fruitful. One hint: It starts with generosity and curiosity – not forceful sales pitching. Sandy shares helpful conversation starters, online connection do’s and don’ts and ways you can get more out of that next conference or event – other than parking yourself by the pastry table.

The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking…Because People Do Business with People They Like

Michelle Tillis Lederman is an executive coach and corporate trainer who has boiled her years of experience with large corporations down to 11 simple principles for making sales, forming partnerships and managing teams. This book is a perfect read for entrepreneurs, business leaders and job seekers alike if you’re trying to get out there and promote your message or mission.

The Digital Mystique: How the Culture of Connectivity Can Empower Your Life – Online and Off

Sarah Granger is an online guru, technology master and digital marketing consultant who has worked with clients ranging from political campaigns to corporations. This book is a great primer on how to seize digital opportunities to make both your personal and professional life richer. Her tips and case studies cover important guidelines on everything from making online connections with possible clients and partners met to privacy to encouraging your kids to behave responsibly online. Sarah offers a positive spin on the digital revolution and how it can help us connect, create and collaborate when used appropriately.

Branding Basics for Small Business (2nd Edition): How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget

Sorry, couldn’t resist adding my book, especially since I’ve added more robust content in this 2nd edition on networking, social media and content marketing, in addition to new case studies and interviews with marketing experts such as Jay Baer, Ann Handley and Mike Michalowicz. The book outlines a simple ten-step questioning process to clarify your brand strategy, focus on your ideal audience and make thousands of marketing decisions with more ease and confidence. The goal is to help you attract more of the right customers and save valuable time and money by avoiding “random acts of marketing.” Doesn’t that sound good?!

Which books do you recommend to boost your business or brand? Please tweet me @redslice and let me know.

Image Credit Ulmann Patrik vis Flickr

5 must-watch videos to delight your brand, brain and heart

12.16 videos that inspire (blog)

There is such a treasure trove of great videos out there. Videos that make us think, cry, and laugh. Videos that inspire us to action or give us pause in our own lives. And videos that crisply and clearly offer tips to move us closer to our goals.

Today, please enjoy these 5 great videos I’ve curated for you, in hopes they will inspire and delight your brand, heart, mind and soul. (Tweet this!)

The Power of Reinventing Ourselves. Dorie Clark’s inspirational, personal (and funny) talk about being yourself, living your truth and parlaying that into your personal brand so that you can uniquely stand out. Dorie’s first book, Reinventing You, is a recommended read in the 2nd edition of my book, Branding Basics for Small Business. Dorie’s next book, Stand Out, is now available for pre-order. It’s a book about how to become a recognized expert in your field – something we all need to discover these days in order to gain true professional security.

7 Problems Every Extrovert Understands. Hilarious! And I’m willingly to admit they are all true and have happened to me on my multiple occasions. Introverts in the house: you will love this as well, as you are the saints who put up with us.

How to Increase Your Twitter Engagement. My girl Amy Schmittauer of Savvy Sexy Social creates the most entertaining – and USEFUL- videos about how to use social media more effectively. Her sharp advice can even be found in the 2nd edition of my book, Branding Basics for Small Business – that’s how much I love her. In this video, Amy shares a little secret for how to tell if you’re doing what you need to do to increase your Twitter love.

Lennon and Samaras Share Title Success With Young Fan: OK, if you missed my post on this a few weeks ago, get ready for your heart to burst out of your chest and your eyes to well up with joyful tears. I showcased this heartwarming video of a young fan getting the experience of a lifetime at the Scottish Premiership soccer match as a great example of how need to make your customers be the hero of your brand – just like Celtic FC did here. The joy in this boy’s eyes says it all.

I’m Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much: The previous soccer video is about making a fan the hero because of his loyalty and not simply because of his developmental challenges. Stella Young was a humorous and tireless advocate for disabled rights. Read more of her story here. Alas, she just came onto my radar this past week when she died at age 32. This TEDx video is a sharp, funny, wise call to arms to stop treating people with disabilities like they are exceptional JUST because they have disabilities and that it is insulting and unfair to treat them that way. Her advocacy and push for change – not her failing body – is what makes her an inspiration. You will crack up at her reference to “inspiration porn!”

Got other videos you love that you’d like to share? Please tweet me the link and I’ll share it out!

Photo Credit: Waferboard via Flickr