My Ultimate Digital Gear Guide

Yes.ShoeFitts Marketing - My Ultimate Digital Gear Guide That is a picture of me. And yes, that is my dog aBoo. We are soaked. Quite soaked. We live in Portland, Oregon. So, of course we must navigate the rain on our morning walks. But, you’ll never find me with an umbrella. By birthright, Oregonians do not carry them. They are a sign of wimps; people afraid of a little bit of water. And, yes. It is blurry. (HA! You try to take a selfie with a wet 110 pound Newfie in the pouring down rain.)

What you won’t find me without is my rain gear: layers of waterproof and water-resistant jackets, pants and shoes. In fact, that is why keeping my morning walk ritual isn’t hard. The right gear makes getting out the door much easier.

The right gear makes all the difference.

Recently, I’ve been offering individual coaching on the world of digital marketing, helping people understand and harness the intersection of the web, marketing and the social world for their business or personal brand. Many times, after our three-hour session, people ask, “OMG! How do you know all of this stuff?” “Where did you learn this?” My answer? “Marketing is my hobby. I love creating. I love experimenting. And frankly, I have a genetic predisposition to tools. I love tools. (Thanks, Dad! This is likely why I have a belt sander and sand blaster in my garage.) Again…

My Ultimate Digital Gear GuideI know the right gear makes all the difference.

If you head out into the digital world with only an umbrella, you may look foolish – you may simply get soaked, or you may be tempted to give up and head right back inside. To help make your digital efforts a bit easier, I’ve created My Ultimate Digital Gear Guide. The guide lists some of my favorite resources for scheduling social, finding sharable content, building websites, creating visuals and quite a bit more. (Get your guide by downloading via the image to the left.)

 

Becoming the CEO of Your Life

Episode 46: Becoming the CEO of Your Life.

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Happy February. It’s beginning to get lighter here in Portland, Oregon and I am finally able to get out the door and walking again. The Daphne are beginning to bloom and it’s such a beautiful, hopeful sign of spring.

This week is another interview where the microphone is turned around (metaphorically speaking) and I am the one being asked questions by Kristin Mountain, co-founder of Podcast SMARTER. This episode is around career growth and planning and how you can become the CEO of your life.

I recall when I started thinking about this specifically, it was during the 2008 recession. A lot of people were coming to meet with me to network, in the hopes to get a job. I thought to myself that I didn’t want to be in a position to scramble to build my network when I needed it, but to build it when I didn’t need it at the moment.

When thinking about your career and where you are now versus where you want to be, you should ask yourself how big you can go. Begin thinking about what’s in your heart and how does that match up with your expertise and talents. Then determine where you want to be in 10 years. Not only should you be thinking of your career, but also what your day looks like and what do you want your surroundings to look like. The more you can put a vision to it, the more you can plan for it.

It takes time to get to where you want to go and sometimes we end up feeling stalled or under-appreciated. I always recommend volunteering your time, and skills, to an outside organization. This not only helps you experience new things, but you’re growing your skills, meeting new people and experiencing the appreciation that you may not be feeling at work.

Once you’ve determined where you want to go, the best thing to do is network. Getting involved in associations and creating a LinkedIn account are two simple ways to start getting yourself out there. By committing to attending a networking event one day a month, you can start building some great relationships. Then, once you have found some people that you connect with, help solidify that by following up with an email or phone call. If networking is out of your comfort zone, be sure to read “The Power of Who: You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know” by Bob Beaudine and listen to these previous WRW episodes: Confidence is Contagious and How to Work a Room.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street! If you liked this episode, share it with others and write a quick review on iTunes.

How to Make Digital Marketing Work for You

Whether you do your own marketing, or you have a team of professionals supporting you, poorly planned or executed social selling efforts could be costing you clients and sales. In 2016, you cannot overlook the opportunity to outsell your peers. You need a workable digital marketing plan that is easy to follow and just takes minutes a day.  In this rebroadcast of the ShoeFitts Digital Institute, you’ll learn ways to:

  • Scale digital marketing to meet your sales efforts
  • Create a sustainable digital marketing plan
  • Discover ways to monitor and measure
  • Avoid antiquated practices that no longer produce results
  • Execute a digital marketing plan with the confidence and tools you need to succeed

Don’t Tell Yourself No. Let Other People Tell You No.

Episode 45: Don’t Tell Yourself No, Let Others Do It for You
Guest: Kim Shaw Elliott and Anne Elliot

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This week’s episode of The Women Rocking Wall Street Show is special because we have a mother and daughter duo. Both women are in financial services, each with interesting personal stories. Kim Shaw Elliott began her career as a litigator and eventually decided to combine her knowledge of the law with a Master of Business Administration. She now serves as President and in-house ERISA Counsel of Independent Financial Partners (IFP) Plan Advisors, a division of financial partners located in Tampa, Florida. IFP Plan Advisors works with 150 specialists in the retirement plan arena and provide services to around 1700 retirement plans.

Anne Elliott graduated from the University of Missouri 4 years ago and she has been working with Edward Jones for over 6 years. Anne began her career at Edward Jones as an on-call Branch Office Administrator while still in school, thanks to advice from Kim. After training with an Advisor over spring break, Anne knew she wanted to gain more experience. She picked up the phone and began calling various Edward Jones branches to see if she could fill any openings. She was successful in her search and has been with Edward Jones ever since. Anne is currently in the Client Strategies Group and has been in that position for 6 months.

There were two things that helped Anne secure her first position with Edwards Jones – networking and rejection. Through the networking Kim had done in her career, Anne was able to connect with the right people. Once she had some experience, Anne wasn’t afraid of rejection when she picked up the phone and began calling. She had learned in graduate school not to tell yourself no but rather to let others do it for you. She knew that rejection promoted personal and professional growth, and while it was hard if she hadn’t taken the chance, she would not have started with Edwards Jones at such an early stage of her career.

Both Kim and Anne work in a male dominated industry. For example, while Kim was a litigator, she had an instance where a judge thought she was a secretary. Anne has seen the male dominance within the industry but she is also seeing it slowly changing. Her career advice is to always do what’s right for the client, and that should be at the base of every decision. Anne also recommends honing your networking skills, because this industry is all about relationships.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street! If you liked this episode, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

How to Love LinkedIn: Five Reasons to Get Passionate About Social Media

Can you really grow to love social media? From the outside, social media appears to be a struggle. Too many compliance headaches. Too much time. Too few clients online. Too little return.

Many firms have shared with me they don’t know what they don’t know. Therefore they don’t do. This approach leaves many firms sitting on the sidelines, letting the digital world pass them by.

Newsflash! The Internet has disrupted the way we acquire information and interact with the world. It is shaping an entirely new idea of what’s possible in marketing, sales, business and our world of financial services. Responding to the digital demand is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.

Have you lost that loving feeling where social media is concerned? Do not despair. Just in time for Valentine’s Day I offer five reasons why you should stop being a wallflower and start dancing. The social sphere allows you to:

  1. Easily develop a personal brand: An optimized LinkedIn profile is a sure-fire way to solidify your personal and professional brand. The time it takes to optimize your profile will immediately pay dividends in better Google search ranking for your name and your firm’s name. And, don’t forget a professional headshot. Adding a professional photo makes you 14 times more likely to be found on LinkedIn.
  1. Be where your prospects are: LinkedIn reaches 37% of the U.S. population. It is particularly popular among college graduates, those in higher-income households and the employed.
  1. Accelerate connections: When I speak about using LinkedIn for financial advisors, I often say, “LinkedIn is the largest rolodex in the world.” Imagine the ability to tap into the power of nearly 400 million people worldwide? With a bit of ongoing effort to grow your network, you’ll begin to notice the connections within connections.
  1. Scale your top-of-mind efforts: Active profiles – those that share updates and interact – are more likely to be viewed. Think of it as a super simple way to stay top of mind with just the touch of a few strokes on your keyboard. Consider this tip from LinkedIn, “To be seen, you need to move, if you are camouflaged in the crowd, you will stay well hidden.”
  1. Lead the conversation: 74% of prospects chose the company that was first to help them along their buying journey. By consistently contributing helpful content on a particular subject, advisors can begin to lead the conversation rather than follow.

Need help creating an optimized LinkedIn Profile? Or are you ready to take the social world by storm? Stay tuned for news about my social selling bootcamp. Coming later in March!

Moving from Gender Diversity to Gender Balance

Episode 44: Moving from Gender Diversity to Gender Balance
Guest: Avivah Wittenberg-Cox

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Welcome back and thank you for joining me again for this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street. I have really been looking forward to this chat, ever since I read my guest’s content in the Harvard Business Review.

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox is a prolific speaker and writer. As CEO of 20-first, Avivah works with top management teams from international companies to identify opportunities to create more balance within their organization, primarily around gender and culture. Having active, strategic debates with the executive team is a constant occurrence for Avivah. This helps the teams understand what the gender topic is and how best to lead a more “gender bilingual” organization.

If gender balance isn’t established within an organization from the start, it’s not usually going to happen naturally. It takes three things to create balance: leadership, culture shift, and systems that are supportive and adaptive to the 21st century. Changing the balance within an organization is fairly simple. Most companies become frustrated with their lack of success when trying to create gender balance. Therefore, the executive team is open to suggestions and advice on where and how to move forward – which is where 20-first comes in.

Avivah recommends we stop using the phrase ‘gender diversity’ because it frames the females as one diversity among many. By using the term ‘gender balance’, we’re helping create a movement that has been occurring throughout the 21st century. It’s now gaining some strong momentum which will positively impact businesses and relationships.

To learn more about Avivah and to find resources on how to promote gender balance, visit 20-first.com.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street. If what you heard today resonated with you, please liked this episode, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

What I’ve Learned From Podcasting

Episode 43: What I’ve Learned From Podcasting

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Hello again! I have been on a slight hiatus because I’ve been reflecting on 2015 and am looking at what I want for 2016. What I’ve found is that I want ShoeFitts, my marketing firm, to work with the right people and on the right projects. That means turning my business into a small batch, artisan marketing firm that does highly crafted work for my clients. Regarding Women Rocking Wall Street, I’ve been wondering how I can continue to give you high quality, relevant content that can provoke thoughts and motivate. So, in February and March, you’ll see several episodes where I’ll be the one interviewed. My goal for Women Rocking Wall Street is to have meaningful conversations with guests as well as you.

Having released podcast episodes for the past year, I’ve overcome the fear of the microphone, have had great conversations with amazing and talented guests, and I’ve run into challenges along the way. Kristin Mountain, co-founder of Podcast SMARTER wanted to pick my brain on what the last year has been like and what I’ve learned.

After identifying the vision for my podcast, even though I do a lot of public speaking, I found that I was initially intimidated by the microphone. Other challenges that I’ve found is consistency and finding the guests that I feel will spark that valuable conversation. While I’ve had challenges, I’ve also had a lot of successes. I’ve reflected on some of my favorite episodes, which include: Finding Your Inner Rockstar, Toughing it Out, Ski Like a Girl, The Evolution of Women in Finance, and the list goes on. Having a great team has helped keep Women Rocking Wall Street going.

If you’re thinking of starting a podcast, my best advice is to sit at your computer, turn on the microphone and hit record. Also, offer yourself up to other podcasts. If you want to be on the Women Rocking Wall Street, email me with your idea.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street! If you liked this episode, be certain to subscribe and share it with others.

Three Simple Ways to Tell Your Brand is Stuck in Groundhog Day

Most companies spend time on their brand when they launch their business. They might focus on their logo and possibly a brochure, leaving the heaving lifting of messaging, value proposition and brand experience to a later date.

Fast-forward ten years. While their business has changed – significantly – many firms still have the same logo, same visual branding, and are still without a value prop or client experience plan. They’re doing the same thing over and over again, with the same messaging, wondering why they’re not getting different results. They’re stuck in a branding version of Groundhog’s Day.

The Groundhog Day movie provides some great lessons that can be applied to branding, and how to create a meaningful brand. After living the same day over and over again – some estimates put it at about 12,395 days – Phil (Bill Murray) learns secrets from the town’s residents, seduces women, steals money, gets drunk, drives recklessly, and gets thrown in jail. And he tries to manipulate Rita (Andie MacDowell) into loving him. After multiple times attempting suicide, only to wake and relive the same day, his experiences change him. He learns French. He learns how to play the piano. He befriends everyone in town. He saves lives and helps people. And eventually he is a changed man and wins the heart of Rita.

While originally panned, Groundhog Day is now considered a self-improvement parable teaching the need to look inside oneself and realize that the only satisfaction in life comes from turning outward and thinking about others rather than concentrating solely on one’s own wants and desires.[1]

Wowza! That is exactly the basis for a brand.

When we work with organizations to develop their brand and brand messaging, we often ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “What is it that you uniquely do to help people around you – your clients and your community?” Answering these questions, along with 50+ more, provides the basis to create a meaningful, differentiated brand.

These questions, this outward facing consideration should be revisited every years. Your business has changed. The world has changed. They way we all buy has changed. As such, your brand must change. Has your brand evolved, or is it stuck?

Here are Three Simple Ways to Tell Your Brand is Stuck in Groundhog’s Day:

  1. You think a logo is a brand. Brands encompass each and every experience people have with you and your organization.
  2. Your collateral and website feature old, out-of-date photos – possibly including the same guy on the front page as your competition. Your retiree images are limited to just people golfing or following passive past-times. (Even worse, most of them look like they’ve been taken from a Cialis commercial.)
  3. You don’t have a value proposition that resonates in today’s marketplace – or no value prop at all. (Read this research by Mass Mutual regarding the need for a value-prop to succeed in today’s marketplace.)

If any of these points apply to you, or if you are ready to take your branding out of Groundhog’s Day, read Create a Magnetic Brand, Build Margin. (Yep. A powerful brand does build margin.)

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[1] Source: Thank’s Wikipedia! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day_(film)