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How To Write A Novel Or Other Content To Support Your Brand

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in Uncategorized

how to write a novelPeople often come to me for help in reaching their “I want to write a book” goal. The latest statistics show that approximately 86% of consultants say they want to write a book. In reality, about 1% actually follow through. I’ve had the opportunity to engage with some of the world’s greatest writers. One of my most recent books, “Think and Grow Rich for Women”, and my current work with the Napoleon Hill Foundation have added an even larger dimension to my experience. It doesn’t matter if you are interested in how to write a novel, a business book, or a self-help book.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned is about the importance of having an outline. Staying focused on your intended readers and what value they will get out of your work is important. By focusing and having an outline, you easily lead the reader through an experience that as a whole accomplishes your goals.

Which of course brings up another question: What is the purpose of your writing? Are you writing for your business and you plan to use your work as an extended business card? Are you writing to position yourself as an authority? Are you learning how to write a novel in hopes of having a best-selling book in a certain genre?

Your writing serves a purpose, for you and for your readers. Getting clear on the expectation of the book you are writing will lead you to better decisions relative to your outline, your title, your visuals, how you publish and distribute.

For example, many of the clients I work with use their book to share their unique perspectives and business offerings. Consultants are experts at this. And, their books are critical assets in their branding toolbox, which they can feature on their website, distribute electronically, or have as giveaways at speaking engagements. Being published increases their credibility and positions their expertise. After all…they wrote the book on it.

So if you are thinking of writing a book, think about the job that your book needs to do for you and then focus on an outline that leads readers through an experience that is both relevant and meaningful. Authentic sharing of information and impact is the highest honor you can give to your readers.

After all, in the words of Ernest Hemingway:  “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

Effective Engagement on Social Networks

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in social media

on social netwoksLike it or not, deciding how to effectively engage on social networks is a primary goal for all brands. In my experience, whether you are an exceptionally large company or an entrepreneur just starting out, it’s important to make decisions on social media engagement in ways that contribute to your professional goals. Building the right community and influencing your audience in relative and meaningful ways are critical parts of your brand building strategy. They should not be overlooked.

Part of your decision is which social channels to focus on. The answer is…it depends! It depends on where your “tribe” engages. If you have developed your high value high loyal personas, you also know where and how they engage on social networks. Let your desired customers and brand advocates lead you to a primary focus on the social channels where they are active. If the audience that you want to engage with is active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, then that’s where you want to show up.

How to show up in relevant and meaningful ways is important. One of the guidelines I use with my own social strategy, as well as with my clients, is the 80/20 rule. Prioritize 80% of your content with engaging visuals, key facts, and relevant and interesting information. The remaining 20% of your content can be about you and what you are doing, promoting, etc. Otherwise, your followers get fatigued and will stop following you if they aren’t getting benefit from your content.

Once you have identified which channels are optimal for you and your community, the most important thing is about content. Really….what is the goal of being active on social networks? Do you want more likes/shares in order to amplify your brand? Are you looking for more followers in order to get new clients? Or, do you want people to buy something or attend an event? Prioritizing your social media content so that everything you do is related to your overall goals is the key to using social media as a support channel in brand development.

Which Social Medium Best Meets Your Needs?

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in social media

social mediumThe rise of social media has been a boon to marketers, who have found it a cost-effective way to reach out to–and get feedback from–existing and potential customers. However, not all platforms are alike with respect to target audience appeal. Each year, the Pew Research Center evaluates social media use and releases its findings to the public. I’ve distilled the findings from the most recent Pew report to help guide you as you consider which social medium is the best fit for your message or your business.

Facebook

Facebook is far and away the behemoth of social media. More than 70% of U.S. adults are using the platform. Women are more likely to use Facebook than men. And, despite talk of younger people abandoning the platform, the study found that nearly 90% of the 18-29 demographic use it. And while overall usage trends have begun to plateau, usage among seniors has continued its upward trend. Indeed, some 56% of seniors now use Facebook, up from 45% the previous year.

Twitter

Twitter use continues to rise. Some 23% of U.S. adults use Twitter, a five-point increase from the previous year. Men tend to use it more than women, and the trend line for male users is continuing to climb. It is especially popular with users under 50 and those with a college degree. A significant increase in usage year after year was found among users with incomes greater than $50,000.

Instagram

More than 25% of U.S. adults use Instagram, with usage increasing dramatically each year. The site tends to be more popular with women, and urban users tend to favor it more than rural users. By far the largest demographic group using Instagram is the 18-29 segment, with 53% of them using the platform. This figure compares to just 25% of the 30-49 segment, 11% of the 50-64 segment, and a mere 6% of the over-65 segment.

For anyone looking to reach a larger audience, social media certainly cannot be ignored. The best place to find people is where they are. The details of this report make it a little easier to understand where to find people in various market demographics. For additional information about social media usage patterns, I encourage you to read the full Pew report here. How you choose to use social media, or a particular social medium, can directly impact your ability to reach your intended audience.

What Does It Mean To Mentor?

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in mentoring

what does it mean to mentorIt is often said that when people volunteer their time to help others, they get more out of it than the people they help. This is because the intrinsic rewards are so great that they vastly overshadow any sacrifices one makes in terms of time committed. The same, then, can also be said of mentoring other professionals. So what does it mean to mentor and what benefits are derived from being a mentor?

Roles of a Mentor

There are two primary roles of the career-related mentor. The first involves preparing protégés for advancement in their careers and helping them to learn to navigate the organizational structure where they work. These typically involve providing the protégé with exposure to other professionals with whom they can also network.

The second role is perhaps the most important, because it involves helping the protégé with personal growth. Such growth instills confidence and a sense of competence. This occurs through acceptance and affirmation of the protégé, counseling on both personal and professional issues that arise, role modeling for the protégé, and, of course, friendship. These two roles impact the protégé by exposing them to new ideas and ways of thinking, development of strengths and the overcoming of weaknesses, and increased recognition in their careers.

Benefits of Mentorship

Not only do mentors gain personal satisfaction from sharing their knowledge and experience with an eager listener, mentoring also offers more tangible professional benefits. For one, the mentor benefits through the recognition that they are a subject matter expert. This can have career impacts well beyond the walls of one’s organization. What’s more, the mentor also learns from the protégé through exposure to a different perspective. Additionally, the mentor is able to develop a personal development style that can have benefits for those in senior and management positions.

Less tangible, but no less important, benefits include honing active listening skills, an increased sense of self-worth, and the opportunity to reflect on their own goals and opinions.

So, what does it mean to mentor? As you can tell from the above, it means an awful lot. And, quite often, the mentor-protégé relationship extends well past its formal expiration as mentor and protégé have laid the foundation for a lifelong connection. I’ve mentioned before that it can often be lonely at the top.  Being a mentor not only provides the opportunity for personal fulfillment and satisfaction, but it can also be part of an effective strategy for overcoming what can often feel like isolation as we focus on continuing to develop ourselves and others.

creative writing

Creative Writing | Knowing Your Audience

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in writing

Let’s face it. It’s happened to most of us. You have what you think is a great idea for a piece of creative writing—maybe a blog post or an op-ed. You spend all day organizing your thoughts and putting your words together to create what you believe is a work of art. Then, the piece gets published and…nothing. Few readers, no comments, and absolutely zero shares.

So what happened to the piece you were so sure about?

creative writingChances are you forgot the first rule of creative writing: Know your audience. All those fancy words and clever turns-of-phrase may have made for legitimately good writing. But, if what you wrote doesn’t resonate, it’s not a successful endeavor.

Instead of writing to please your readers, were you actually writing to please yourself?. To be sure, you should never publish something that you’re not happy with. But if your only consideration is what you think, you’re missing a key ingredient in the recipe for writing that resonates.

The key to drafting creative writing content is to show your readers some respect. Ask yourself the following questions:

Who am I writing for? Is my audience young or old? Male or female? Are they business executives or suburban housewives?

What do they need? What do they care most about? What is irrelevant to them?

Why am I writing this piece? What do I want the reader to think, do, or feel after reading it?

What does my reader already know about this topic? Have I given them enough explanation? Or, have I given them too much explanation and, thus, insulted their intelligence?

How do they feel about this topic? How can I honor their perspective?

Sometimes we get so excited about our own ideas that we forget that creative writing is supposed to be a conversation between us and our readers. But simply by asking ourselves what their expectations are, we can avoid the trap of merely talking to ourselves.

What is a Mentor & Why You Need One

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in mentoring

what is a mentorThroughout my entrepreneurial career, I’ve built, lead and advised organizations.  Now, more than ever, I am asked to provide mentorship for entrepreneurs and leaders.  While it seems that the idea of mentorship has never been more popular, the concept dates back to the Ancient Greeks. In fact, the word mentor was inspired by the character Mentor in Homer’s Odyssey. But what does mentorship mean in today’s world? Exactly, what is a mentor, and how can one help you with your personal and professional career goals? Let’s explore the idea of how mentorship is relevant in our lives today.

Internal and External Mentors

Everyone knows that having a mentor can be a big boost for your career. Indeed, many forward-thinking companies have mentoring programs in place for employees with high-performance potential. To be sure, having a mentor within your organization can be very beneficial, helping you to navigate the myriad intricacies of the organizational structure. But it is also advantageous to look for a mentor outside of your organization. While an in-house mentor can help you advance in your company, an outside mentor may be better able to help you advance in your profession, whether as an employee or an entrepreneur.

Your Mentor Search

So, who should you look for as an outside mentor? You may want to look broadly for someone in your industry. Or, you may want to focus more narrowly at someone who shares your profession. Which way you go will depend on your specific professional situation, your needs, and your goals.

Once you’ve decided the type of mentor you want, then comes the process of finding one. So, where do you look?

One option is to consider joining a professional or industry association. This is often the best place to find a mentor. As you attend meetings and/or conferences, pay attention to the names that keep popping up. Chances are there will be a few that come up with some frequency. These are the influencers who you should target. You may also find mentors among people with whom you share common outside interests. Think of all the amazing conversations that have taken place during a round of golf!

Benefits of a Mentor

As you can imagine, there are numerous benefits to having a mentor. Not only do they offer advice about your career, but they are often well-connected and able to introduce you to even more people within your profession or industry. Thus, they are able to help you expand your network.  As an entrepreneur, it can be lonely at the top.  A mentor who has done what you are working towards is a great sounding board for ideas but also for staying focused, keeping your morale up and to celebrate with you each time you get a win.

Always remember, though, that a mentoring relationship is a two-way street. If you’re continually asking what they think of something and you then don’t follow through, they will assume that you’re not serious and you will have given up a potentially beneficial relationship. If you ask for guidance from your mentor, be ready to take their advice. Because, what is a mentor for if not to offer sound counsel?

social media outlets

Social Media Outlets | Posting Frequency

Written by Sharon Lechter on . Posted in social media

social media outletsOver the last several years, online marketing and social media has become an even bigger priority in how I manage my brand. Whether sharing my message, keeping people in my online communities aware of pressing issues or promoting new products and events, I employ a variety of strategies related to the use of social media outlets.

Ask 20 different marketers how often you should post to your social media outlets and, rest assured, you’ll get 20 different answers. That’s because most marketers think there are rules to content quantity. But what leading marketers know is that it isn’t about the quantity, it’s about the quality of what you post. Sure, you should definitely post frequently so that you stay relevant, but then again, you don’t want to inundate your followers with so much stuff that they hide you from their feed. How often you post really depends on how much you have to say and the specifics of your business.

According to Gary Vaynerchuck, who wrote the exceptional Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, the most important thing to realize about social media outlets is that they are all about conversations. That is, if you’re just posting and never taking the time to check back and respond to comments, people will lose interest in your brand, or worse, they’ll start trashing it. Indeed, thoughtful banter with the people who care enough to comment will do more for your brand than 10 posts a day.

And how you post is also much more important than how often. Do you only post things that promote something about your brand? If you are, you’re making a big mistake. Because people on social media outlets aren’t there for the hard sell, and they’re sophisticated enough to see through your self-promotion.

Instead, adopt Vaynerchuck’s principles that, for every post that promotes your brand, which he calls a “right hook,” you should post at least two things that don’t, but that are relevant to the social conversation. Those are what Vaynerchuck calls “jabs” and they’re crucial to brand building.

Social media is both an art and a science. You need to be discerning in what you post and when. It takes 24/7 effort to do it well. But, if you expend that effort, you will see the rewards in greater engagement, a larger community and increased goodwill for your brand.

So You Want to Write a Book?

Written by admintemp on . Posted in Uncategorized

author

It has never been easier to become a published author…and publishing a book helps you build and strengthen your personal brand, as well as your credibility as an expert in your field. Being a successful author is about more than just writing…it is about Publishing with Purpose and a Platform. Getting clear on your message and speaking to your audience is the first step. You can find dozens of sites online that will teach you how to write a book…for a fee. If you have a keyboard or a pad of paper…you can write…for free. Just keep the reader in mind. Write as if you are talking to the reader. Use story-telling in your writing…it allows to reader to get emotionally connected to your message. Don’t worry about your grammar. Once you have written your thoughts it is easy to find an editor to clean up your manuscript grammatically. Some people set aside time each day to write a book…others dedicate concentrated amounts of time to write. John Grisham used to write each morning at 5am before he went to the office to practice law…it took him 3 years to write his first novel A Time to Kill. Dedicating time each day to writing definitely worked miracles for him. I, on the other hand, have to go away alone, apart from all distractions and immerse myself in writing to achieve the outcome I desire. Every book I have written has been written, in part, at a beach. I find solace and intense creativity at the beach. I have averaged a book every 9 months for the last 18 years. So what is the right answer for you? Only you can determine the answer. The more important issue is getting started. Is there something you love to do? Write about it. Is there something that makes you mad? Write about it. Is there something new in your field? Write about it! As you begin writing, ask yourself if you have a platform from which to promote your book? Do you have a database of loyal customers and fans? Do you have associates or others in your field that will help spread the word? What is your footprint in social media? Do you know the latest trends in publishing…from traditional publishing to vanity publishing to e-book publishing? I look forward to sharing regularly on the subject of Publishing with Purpose and a Platform for Profit over the next couple of months. There is a tried and true strategy that has created great success for me over the years. It is not enough to write a book…you need to let people know you have written it…and make it easy for them to buy it and tell others about it. After receiving many requests for counsel and direction in publishing, I am hosting an event September 19th and 20th here in Scottsdale, Arizona bringing together my team of advisors to share their wisdom. For more information visit www.speakserveandsell.com.

Crowning Champions

Written by admintemp on . Posted in Uncategorized

cup Here in Arizona, we are still glowing from the excitement of the Super Bowl.  In the spirit of crowning Champions, I’ve been working on something exciting so you can win your money game in a big way in 2015. On March 18th I am bringing to you entrepreneurial and financial power players for the Think and Grow Rich for Women Wealth Summit.  This is free, but priceless one- time event where I will be joined by Loral Langemeier, Michelle King Robson, and Rita Davenport.  We open our playbooks to you, delivering real mentorship that you can act on today to change your life. Get your Golden Ticket to the event here: https://sharonlechter.leadpages.net/master-of-money-or-slave-/ The Think and Grow Rich for Women Wealth Summit is a tele-event for women and yes, men who get it.  Be sure to invite the fathers, husbands, brothers and sons that understand the power of Napoleon Hill and the principle of the Mastermind. This is your opportunity to score big from the experience and knowledge of an incredible lineup of speakers who have launched businesses and generated millions, created their own personal wealth and built teams to sustain their successes.  They’ve also picked themselves up after being knocked down a time or two and will share with you how to launch yourself over the hurdles you may be facing in your own life. 2015 will be your best year, if you choose to show up.  90% of success is showing up. REGISTER NOW using the link below. https://sharonlechter.leadpages.net/master-of-money-or-slave-/  I look forward to March 18th- your championship day!   Your Mentor, Sharon Lechter  

New Year’s Resolutions

Written by admintemp on . Posted in Uncategorized

newyears As 2015 begins, we once again make New Year’s Resolutions, or promises to ourselves, to change something…or do something new in the new year. Whether it be weight related…or wealth related, studies show that most New Year’s Resolutions are broken before the end of January. As you consider your financial results in 2014, why is that? N – Now E – Expect W –Wealth Y – Yet don’t E – Engage in A –Attitude and habit shifts to ensure R – Results Our promises don’t get transformed into goals that include changing our habits and attitudes. Because for new beginnings to be successful….our old habits must change. For habits to change, our attitude and thoughts need to change.   As you ring in 2015, and make your New Year’s Resolutions, remember the saying “For things to change, I must change.” Or “If It is to be…it is up to me!”   N – Now E – Expect W –Wisdom Y – You are committed to E – Educate yourself and experience A – Attitude and habit shifts to ensure R – Results In addition to reviewing your resolutions often, add to your list the following positive self talk, “To accomplish this resolution, I will change my bad habit of _________________________…and create a new habit of ________________________!”   And, “IN order to ensure that my habits will stick…and my resolutions will succeed, I will adjust my attitude from _______________________(skepticism, doubt, fear) to an attitude of ______________________________(commitment, faith, determination, perseverance!)” May 2015 see all your New Year’s Resolutions come true…and bring you a year of love, laughter…and lots of fun! Happy New Year! Your Mentor, Sharon Lechter

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ABOUT

Sharon Lechter has combined her expertise as a CPA and an international bestselling author with her unmatched passion for financial literacy and entrepreneurship to inspire change for individuals and businesses across the globe for over 30 years.

Credited as the genius behind the Rich Dad brand, Sharon’s current partnership with the Napoleon Hill Foundation uniquely positions her as a stand out in the personal development industry. As a driving force behind these two mega brands, Sharon has demonstrated her entrepreneurial vision and business expertise while empowering audiences with messages of hope and prosperity.

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