Still I rise

“Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise…”

An excerpt from the brilliant mind of Maya Angelou.  This piece reminds me that through adversity, we all have the opportunity to rise.  Through all of our suffering, embarrassment, and heartache we can still rise.  Setbacks happen in life.  One minute you are buying a cup of coffee a t Starbucks and the next you might find yourself on the receiving end of unemployment benefits.  I am saddened by her passing, as many are, but these words sit with me and ring truth in my ear.  They give me a sense of hope and lifted me out of despair during a very difficult time in my life.  We can all learn a thing or two from these words, please take the time to read her poem “Still I rise” here: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/still-i-rise

Rest in eternal Peace.Maya

Maya Angelou 1928-2014

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Lucky Monkey Books

Lucky Monkey Books

Lucky Monkey Books is a site where parents can bring their kids to sit and watch a story being read aloud on video.  Each week the site posts 8 different selections to choose from.  Be warned…your kids might not want to sit through just one and you’ll end up watching them all in a night. lol  It’s a great site for parents that are looking for youtube content for their kids but without all of the ‘extra’ videos that can come up when watching on the youtube site alone.  Each video is hand selected each week and watched to ensure that quality content is shared.  Please come visit and share with your friends who have young children!  Happy Reading!  www.luckymonkeybooks.com 

Personal Brand: What makes you tick?

Personal Branding: What makes you tick?

Personal Branding: What makes you tick?

Studying and understanding traditional marketing methods in business is easy.  Learning about techniques to sell, market, and research customers is easy.  Honing in on a particular market segment and addressing client needs is easy because the data is there all in black and white.  Well, it is relatively easy anyway, there is still a lot of hard work that needs to be done to be successful at marketing something through a campaign.  Much of that same hard work applies when you are the subject of your own marketing.  However, setting up your personal brand can be a daunting task, especially if you are not really used to praising yourself, or noticing just how awesome you really are in everything you do.  Creating your personal brand online forces you to take a detailed look at every position you have held, and every role you have ever taken in your social, professional,  and personal lives.

When you’re creating your personal brand, everything counts.  Taking the captain position on your basketball team or softball league…counts.  It shows leadership qualities and skills like people management.    Everything counts. Let’s say that you and your coworkers are coming together in an office meeting to discuss a client who needs ideas for a promotion.  One of you takes on the role of leader, the other idea generator, and still another might make a better writer/communicator. Each one of you has just added another skill to your personal brand.  So when you are trying to figure out just who you want to be online try thinking about just who you are in your own personal life.  Do you enjoy talking with people?  You might be a great communicator.  Do people often come to you for your advice or information?  You might make an amazing mentor.  If you are looking to present yourself as a great leader, think back to a time when you have taken on roles that forced you to be in a leadership role.  What did you do?  How did you take that role and make it your own?  What skills did you utilize?  These are questions that you can answer that will help you create your personal brand and give you the confidence you need to present yourself as such online and in any communication with others in your field.  The small bit of take away advice for this type of branding would be to apply the following to your list of things to do to get you to understand the kind of person you are and set you on your way to improvement, or on to your other goal.

1.  Review previous roles and think about your skills utilized in them. Write down a few skills you used to reach your goal.(can you believe you were that amazing?)

2. Define your strengths.

3.  Think about where you want to be (new job, better pay, online thought leader, etc) and how the skills you have might get you there.

4. Think about your weaknesses and try to find one or two that you can work on.  (We all have them, if you don’t…start a new religion)

5. Ask yourself where you would like to be, use your amazing skills, sell yourself, present your strengths,  and GET THERE!

Good luck!!  

Job Interview Questions: How NOT to look awkward in the silence.

So you’ve done it.  You’ve gotten the job interview of your dreams.  You’ve picked out your most professional outfit, found both of your matching dress shoes and printed a copy of your resume to take with you.  You’ve gotten through all of the questions asked of you with flying colors only to be asked at the end of it all….”So, do you have any questions for me?”  … … … …  No?  Yes?  Maybe?  Just what kinds of things should one ask when closing the interview?  Well, rewind to the night before your big day to get the answer to this one.

The evening before your interview you should take a look at the company’s website to learn a little more about them if you haven’t already.  Typically this should be done after the first resume submission, but that’s just my opinion.   Try your best to understand the business even if the role you are interviewing for is not a prominent one.  Knowledge of where you will be working is your best defense against a question like that.  I would also go one step further and do a Google search on the company and possibly the president or CEO of the company.  If their name comes up in any searches, read about them.  Discover interesting facts or figures about their business process and any current events they might be involved in.  If they are sponsoring a charity race soon, that might be a good thing to come back with.  You could say, “I was reading where THIS AWESOME company is going to be hosting the race for the Bears this weekend, do you happen to know if there are any volunteer opportunities available?”  or “I know that this organization was in recent talks to go public, how do you feel about that?”

The point here is to become involved with the company and interview by doing your research online.  This way you go into the interview with a knowledge database in your head of facts and information about them that you can pull out of your bag of awesome.  More than likely they will be surprised to hear that you actually took the time to research them and learn more about them as a whole. It’s not hard to start a conversation.  All you need to do so is the best information that the internet has to offer.  Searches are a wonderful place to start.

So,  in closing…. when posed with that scary awkward silence fill it with information and great conversation from one of these sources:

1. Google Search about the company….search blogs, web, video, etc.

2. Social Search using Social Mention….let’s you find out who’s been talking about the company through twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc.

3. Feedly.com is a great place to organize your search and keep tabs on companies you’d like to work for.

4. The specific company’s own website.  They don’t have that thing  posted for nothing, you know.

If you have any others you’d like to share with me…please do so!  I’d love to hear about them.  Until then…happy searching! Oh and if you’re ever posed with the infamous tree question…I always like to answer “Money Tree”.  🙂

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“It’s all about the research…”

Do I need a Social Media Consultant?

Social Media Consultant Blog image.  Do I need a Social Media Consultant? original image modified.  original image found athgo.org

Social Media Consultant Blog image. Do I need a Social Media Consultant? original image modified. original image found athgo.org

One of the questions I have run across frequently in my daily surf through the internet ocean has to do with whether or not a business or organization really needs a Social Media Consultant on the payroll.  The upfront answer is yes you do and it is one of the best decisions you can make for your business and brand.  Here’s why.  Previously on the internet the conversations taking place between businesses and customers was pretty much non-existent.  Advertisers told us consumers what they wanted us to hear and told us when, how, and where to buy… NOW. Right now…as in ‘turn your car around and head into the store RIGHT NOW for this great and amazing new widget!!’  We consumers just did as we were told and turned our cars around and went into the store and left with an amazing new widget.

Fast forward a few years to the advent of social media and of buying sites like amazon.com that solicit reviews from their consumers, and you will see that the tables have done a complete turnaround putting the consumer in the advertising drivers seat.   Consumers now have the power to make or break a product or service just based upon reviews.  Reviews by real people are personal and more honest than believing an advertising agency whose only directive is selling ad space for their agency.  Any business, any brand cannot do without social media to be successful.  If you think this isn’t true I’d like to hear about it.

Now, enter your social media consultant.  Why do you need one?  Every business should hire a social media consultant for at LEAST the duration of 7-9 months.  This person can then help you train a team of your own current employees to understand and get better use out of social media.  They can then help you determine which social media platforms to use and show you or your team how to use them efficiently.  The Social Media Consultant can also come in and help owners understand the measurable data that social media provides and give consult on which products you can buy to measure your own progress or which ones are available for use online.

Why not just hire someone social savvy?  Well here are my thoughts on that. If you already have a great group of employees and a great company culture where people actually LIKE to go work for you and your brand, then why wouldn’t you want to invest in their future?  Help them help make you become a positive force in the market.  Social media is simple, cost-effective and emotion driven.  If you aren’t posting or replying in a timely manner the public will notice.  To ignore the public gives off an air of arrogance and they begin to think ‘why should I give this guy/girl my money if they can’t even reply to my question?’  Now, you can hire someone to manage your newly deigned team and keep the momentum going but that adds another person to your payroll.  It’s far more cost effective to hire a Social Media Consultant until you are ready to take on your own social media head on.

So hiring a social media consultant can help you set up everything and handle the bumps along the way even after the contract has ended.  Keep them as your go to source for questions, special campaigns or new social media insights that you may have heard about and want to implement into your current social media strategy. By doing so you will not only put forth a great showing in social media circles for your brand, but you will also gain the knowledge and TRUST needed to compete in this ever changing social landscape.  People talk.  Let a social media consultant show you how to listen.

HouseParty.com – The place to Party!

Today’s Buzz is about a site called HouseParty.com.  It’s a site that utilizes a gathering of your friends to start the world talking about a particular product or service.  Their word of mouth concept is simple.  You go to their website HOUSEPARTY.COM and register your name, address, and fill out some basic information then you are granted access to their site and can apply to host their client’s “parties“.  What does that mean exactly?  Well after applying for specific campaigns if you are selected you are given product or merchandise to test at your gathering of friends.  Once you have everyone over, you play with the game, or test the food or whatever you get to do and well…talk about it. 

You can blog about it,  about it, or upload a video.  HouseParty.com actually encourages your social media participation at every level.  Through their website you can apply for parties that are open for application and view parties that are currently happening all over the U.S. 

Now does everyone get to host a party?  Well….no.  Sometimes you might apply for a house party that you really would like to do only to get turned down.  It happens.  Sometimes there are an overwhelming number of applicants for the party and only a select few get to host.  But fear not…they are always adding new parties and opening applications to host.  HouseParty.com makes every effort to include everyone in their process.  I mean they do want a broad range of testers after all. 

If you follow them on Facebook and Twitter you can be first to learn of new House Parties and jump at the application process. 

For those wondering…I have yet to host a party, but when I do I know it will be a whole lot of fun!  (At least that is what everyone that hosts one says)   I’m looking forward to it! 

Please visit www.HouseParty.com to learn how you can get in on the party or like them on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/housepartyfun  and be sure to follow them on Twitter here: @HousePartyFun

Happy Hosting!

Happy Feet, Dr. Scholl’s For Her

For my first post I opted to talk about a product and an organization that introduced me to it. The company is called BZZAgent, and they are a company that enlists the help of the general public to try and talk about various products on the web. After an initial sign up process which encompasses lots of questions about my shopping habits, BZZAGENT.COM sent me my first campaign about 3 weeks later.

Dr. Scholl’s for Her, are inserts for pumps, heels, and sandals. I jumped at the offer, as I am always complaining about my feet hurting at the end of the day. Once I signed up for the campaign, BzzAgent.com sent me a neat little package in the mail about 2 weeks later. In it was a BZZAGENT.COM welcome card, a package of DR. SCHOLL’S FOR HER inserts, and a package of coupons for the product. At this point BZZAgent.com, seems legit.

Opening the BzzAgent.com package

Opening the BzzAgent package

I decided to select a pair of shoes for this trial that I have worn before that always made my feet ache at the end of the day, but that I cannot stop wearing because…well they’re cute.

The Buzz Box Dr Scholls for Her inserts

Shoes chosen for Dr. Scholl’s inserts

So, I opened the package, and frowned as I discovered that the inserts had a sticky film on them to help them stay in place when in the shoe. I wasn’t too pleased about that as I don’t like leaving any sticky residue on my shoes because if I remove a sticker price tag or something like that I find it very uncomfortable with my heel sticking all day. However… when I placed these inserts in my shoes I found the adhesive tolerable and not very sticky upon removal.

The Buzz Box DrScholls Inserts

Removing the Film from the Dr. Scholl’s For Her Inserts

 

After I placed them in my pumps I wore the shoes the very next day and while my initial experience was not very comfortable because I was not used to having something in my shoe but toward the end of the week I found them to be pretty comfortable. As the week was ending, I took them out and wore my shoes without them to see if I would notice a difference…I did.  Not only were my feet sore at the end of the day, but throughout the day I found myself wiggling my toes in my shoes to try make them comfortable. I think I’ve grown used to the cushioned arch support.

Ok, so…Bottom line? Dr.Scholl’s for Her inserts work really well in pumps, and in sandals. If you’ve never worn inserts they may feel uncomfortable at first but give them a chance to work. Your feet will thank you for the cushion, your calves will not be tired and the arches of your feet will feel so much better at the end of the day. Kudos Dr. Scholl’s and thank you BzzAgent.com for the opportunity to try them.  This was a product I had seen numerous times in the store, but never really wanted to spend the money to try because I was afraid it might be a waste of money.  After trying them for a few weeks I am happy to say that I will be purchasing more for my other shoes as they really are comfortable.

Interested in learning more about the product talked about here? Please visit these sites to learn more! http://www.BzzAgent.com and http://www.drscholls.com/Brand/ForHer

I also have a limited number of coupons for this product. Interested in one? Email me here: elainetorres36@gmail.com and I’d be happy to mail you one!