August 2015 Presenter

too_cool_teeThis month’s speaker is Andrea Funk of Too Cool T-Shirt Quilts.

Email: andrea@toocooltshirtquilts.com

Andrea will be presenting:
Blogging sucks.
Yet it works. So just face it, you have to blog.

Andrea will cover:

  • Remember Why You Have to Blog
  • Begin With a Great Title
  • Focus the Topic
  • How to Write for the Blog Venue

Remember Why You Have To Blog

By blogging, you get to establish and direct the conversation about your products and/or services. By blogging, you set yourself up as the expert about your in your field. The more you blog, the more search engine algorithms will consider you an expert and as a result, rank your blogs better.

Begin With The Title
When you are searching the Internet, you are looking for answers to a question. The search engines try to find the most relevant results based on your search terms or question. You want your blog to be there ready to answer that question. If your blog title is the question being asked or contains the terms being searched, your blog will be deemed more relevant and thereby be ranked higher.  So begin with the title.

  • Blog Topic/Title Generators
    You can find a number of blog topic generators on the Internet. You are not the only one who has trouble coming up with things to write about. A few times a year, I spend time with various generators to produce a ton of blog title. Blog topic generators are actually blog title generators. From the different titles you come up with, you can then write to answer the question or about the title.
  • Google or Search Every Title
    Before you begin writing, Google the title you are working with. First, check to see if you are ranked for the title. If you already ranked first, modify the title a little.  Next, begin typing your title into a search engine and see how Google is filling in the ahead of what you type. Very important! If your title is too vague, Google will suggest other topics that are similar. Use those other topics as blog titles. You know that if Google is filling in the blanks for you, that there are people out there using those search terms.
  • Long Tail Key Words
    Long tail key words are just key phrases and questions that people are searching for. When we collectively began using the Internet, we would just search a key word. But now we enter whole phrases and even questions because we know that we need to focus our search. You need to anticipate what your customers will be searching for and use these as your title or within your title.

Focus the Topic

  • Write About What Your Audience Needs to Know
    This is what you need to figure out.  At first, I wrote about my company and what we could do for the visitor. But this is not the right approach because no one cares about you except your Mom.  Write to educate your visitors about your products. And not the ones you sell, but about this type of product in general. People are looking for information and the more informative your blogs, the more visitors you will get.
  • Narrow Topics
    Try to break your product or services into very small parts. Then write about each part in detail. If there are too many points about the small part, break that into as many blogs as you have parts.
  • Approached Topics From Different Angles.
    You may feel like you are writing the same things over and over again. And you might be! But if you are rephrasing and using different examples, that’s okay.  The only time this may be of concern is if you have a large following reading your blog everyday. They won’t want to read the same type of content over and over. But if you have a large following, you mostly will be writing more timely type content.Since I don’t have a large audience who read my blog on a daily or weekly basis, I don’t worry about this. Most likely your blog is out there to capture the visitors who searched a keys word that you wrote about. So don’t worry about being repetitively. Just make that this blog is different enough that search engines don’t know that it’s very similar to 3 other blogs you have written.

How to Write For The Blog Venue
Writing a blogs is not like the writing you learned in high school or college. Blog are not 5-paragraph essay, mystery novels nor research papers. They are more like pamphlets; quickly read and tossed aside.  Here are some tricks to writing a blog.

  • Bullets
    Use a lots of bullets and numbered lists. Set up your blogs so the topics are highlighted and the reader can easy jump to the key points. People visiting your site don’t have a lot of time. They are just trying to answer a question. They don’t care about anything else. So make it easy for readers to skim the blog.
  • Short paragraphs
    Short paragraphs are also important because people have short attention spans. People also perceive if that there are long paragraphs that they will have to dig the information out from the noise. So three or four sentences max. Again, this is not how you learned to write in high school or college. Blogs are a different beast!
  • Put the most important information at the beginning.
    Your blog is not a “who done it” mystery – so don’t make people wait. Most people will not read through to the end of your blog, so get to the good stuff first. I don’t usually have much of a conclusion on my bogs, but I do have a CTA (call to action) that will encourage the reader to read something else on my site.
  • Use a Lot of Photographs
    Because they are worth a 1000’s words, blah, blah, blah. Photographs are great because:

    • They illustrate what you are talking about
    • Break up the text
    • People do a lot of image searches. Your blog will be found through image searches.

Listen, learn, and network with local women business leaders over a tasty Fay’s lunch.
Please be sure to RSVP!

To download a copy of the text, click here: Blogging cheat sheet

LEAD 2015

Title

Sep 17, Oct 15, Nov 19, 2015

Jan 21, Feb 18, Mar 17, Apr 21, May 19, 2016

Hosted by:

Celebrate CharlotteCharlotte Area Networking for

Development and Opportunity (CAN DO!)

 

 

EATONEATON Regional Education

Services Agency (RESA)

 

What is LEAD?
LEAD is a year‐long leadership training program designed for residents of Eaton County who are
interested in developing or strengthening their leadership skills. The program is made up of a series of half‐day Modules, once a month from September through May:
• Leadership Spirit and Style (Sep 17)
• Character and Culture in the Workplace (Oct 15)
• Money Matters for Leaders (Nov 19)
• Communicating and Connecting (Jan 21)
• Building Blocks of Teamwork (Feb 18)
• Surprising Evidence About Generosity and
Leadership (Mar 17)
• Leadership Solutions and Innovation (Apr 21)
• Developing Strengths—Yours and Others (May 19)
Learning with LEAD
LEAD will employ a variety of learning techniques including :
• Small‐group discussion
• Interactive learning
• Coaching/mentoring
• Case study
Who Should Attend?
• Newly promoted or appointed manager or leader
• New team or project leader
• Anyone who aspires to a leadership position
• Public and private sector leaders
• Experienced manager or executive seeking to refresh leadership skills

Why LEAD?

Each letter in the program title represents a significant part of leadership.

Learn—leaders must be life‐long learners, continually gaining new knowledge and skills.

Engage—leaders must be involved in their work and create an environment where others can focus their attention and interest.

Advance—leaders are catalysts for professional development who promote the mission and vision of the organization.

Direct—leaders organize and energize processes and people, and empower others to share responsibilities and successes.

Why Should You Attend?

Whether you are an employee considering attending the LEAD Program, or an employer interested in sending one or more employees, LEAD is designed:

• To increase leadership capacity

• To develop effective leadership style, strengths and skills

• To apply leadership in your work, community, or volunteer position

• To support a “community of leaders,” as well as “leaders for our communities”

What do past participants say about LEAD?

“Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about growing, teaching & mentoring.”

“I have been able to relate what I’ve learned to real life. Thank you to all our speakers and CAN DO! for a great program.”

“I was challenged with stepping out of my comfort zone.”

“I highly recommend LEAD to future potential participants. It is well worth the time commitment and an excellent resource for expanding your network with some great individuals.”

Register at: charlottecando.org/lead

Payment mailed to:

CAN DO! Leadership

PO Box 176

Charlotte, MI 48813

Details

LEAD modules will be offered once a month, starting in September 2015.

Most of the Modules will be held at the Eaton Regional Education Service Agency. You will be notified of alternative locations ahead of time. Modules are from 7:45 AM‐12:00 PM with continental breakfast and working lunch.

Cost per attendee is $225 for the entire 2015‐2016 LEAD program. Scholarship information available upon request.

Click the link to download the brochure: 2015-2016 LEAD Brochure

Special thanks to our sponsors! 

Eaton Federal

Consumer's Energy

July 2015 Presenter

Our speaker this month is Adrian Bass of Capital Quality & Innovation.

Email: adrianbass@sbcglobal.net

Adrian will be presenting: Problem Solving Tools to Improve Your Business and Life. Adrian will show the group how to use “cause and effect” tools for quality problem solving.

So what do “Five Whys” and a “Fishbone Diagram” have to do with problem solving?

5 Whys is an iterative question-asking technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem. The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the question “Why?” Each question forms the basis of the next question. Be aware that many problems may have multiple causes, and not just one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5_Whys

“Why do I have to go to bed?” – “Because you need your sleep.”

“Why do I need to sleep?” – “Because it’s good for you.”

“Why is it good for me?” – “Because your body needs regular rest.”

“Why does my body need rest?” – “Because resting helps you re-charge your battery.”

“Why do I need to re-charge it?” – “Because otherwise you’d have no energy to enjoy tomorrow.”

Using Fishbone Diagrams for Problem Solving

Fishbone, Cause-and-Effect or Ishikawa diagram shows factors of the overall problem in one drawing for the further analysis. Construct fishbone diagram and identify many possible causes for an “effect.”  It is like structured Brainstorming.

Following the process you might have an “ah-ha” moment; or you might have to research several suggested causes.  Sometimes you can have the group vote on which cause(s) to try to work on first.

pict--fishbone-diagram-fishbone-diagram-bad-coffee

https://conceptdraw.com/a2300c3/preview

To download a copy of the document, click here: five whys and fishbone

January 2014 Presenter

Our January presenter is Adrian Bass. Starting the new year on a productive note, Adrian will teach us about the Pareto Chart. Pareto charts will help organizations to put data into a visual chart that helps determine what situations are most significant.

Learn how to use Paretos charts in your business.Start the new year learning best practices that will help you prioritize problem solving and improvement processes.

As always, Adrian will get us thinking and inspire us to do business in 2015 a little differently.