The Right Guide

The prior post suggested that readers build a bridge from their vision to their tribe. On the one side, you have your vision, your creation or your business. Then there are the people you serve.  I characterize the “bridge” as the message of your vision or business, put into irresistible marketing language (that also embodies the authenticity of YOUR voice) then opens the way for your perfect tribe to hear it, take it in, and take action on it.

My friend from #blog30, Melanie Kissell, noted in her comment on the post Build a Bridge from Your Vision to Your Tribe,  “Take your vision, go find a guide, and build your bridge!” And Rob added to the comments saying he was still looking for his guide.

Inspired by the comments from my companions on the #Blog30 challenge (for June) along with a recent conversation with Tomar Levine, I realize that many people seem to be wandering in a never-land, looking for a guide, not fully trusting those who so seductively say, “Follow me.”

If you are wanting a magic bullet, but don’t really believe in magic bullets, but (darn it) you still want it anyway, and you find yourself with a raging case of sign-up-itis…Not trusting yourself, thinking you need to learn more, hoping that this next one will be IT…

Well, I know how painful that can be. Realistically I know the temptations that lurk with every magnified online make-a-quantum-leap-in-10-seconds-or-less-while-on-a-private-jet-and-making-millions offer. I have also learned that, while such programs may actually be a good fit for some people, they have never been effective for me.

It’s OK. And there’s nothing wrong with YOU if some of those hyperinflated sales page claims strike you as a bit, um, unrealistic. Tempting, but you know better. Even with the other guides who are realistic, hard-working, diligent teachers and coaches, even with “the good guys” so to speak, even within that group, not every guide is a good fit for you, your vision, and your creation!

Think back about all the times you’ve heard certain pieces of advice. You’ve heard the basics over and over again. Yes, part of it is repetition, a proven way to learn. But another part is how one person may say something just a little bit differently, and BOOM! That person’s expression of the same advice really hits you, really sinks in.

This is an example of what my friends, coaches, and mentors Jan Stringer and Alan Hickman say, “The people who need it most, and they can only hear it from you.”

For your tribe, who are the people who can only hear it from you? Who are the ones listening intently for your voice? Is your voice out there? These are the people waiting for you to build your bridge. Are you doing what my friend Tomar says, “focusing on what is mine to do?”

(Such an exquisite turn of  phrase and so crucial that I’m planning an upcoming post just focusing on that.)

Who is your right bridge-building partner?  Because the essence of building that bridge is taking action, stepping out into the void to create the connection between your vision and your people.  Here’s how I’ve painted the picture of the people who might best hear it from me. If you resonate, be in touch!

And if you’ve found your own right guide to help you build the bridge and open up the path for your just right perfect clients, share with us  how you found this person and why they’re a good fit for you! It’s useful for all of us to see and hear about successful connections.

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Grow Content AND Relationships

A guest post over at Problogger.net recently commented, “Treat the blog … as a promotional vehicle for an actual business. This isn’t to say all you do is pimp your products. On the contrary, you provide really great content in order to build the relationship up with your reader. However, you do it with the aim of converting into a sale of your own product.”

With the opening bell of the 30-day blogging challenge convened by Jeanette Cates, Ph.D., it’s important to consider the attitude and approach our blogs are taking.  Every blog takes a somewhat different approach, and certainly they are designed as one piece of our businesses.

So, while this is true, that the blog is a promotional tool, it seems to me much more than that.  We sell ourselves, our clients/customers, and our content short if making the sale is the sole focus. While we are in business, it’s also important to create an appropriate space for relationships to expand and unfold.

Blogs are perfect places to share value and build community.  For me, the part of the quote that does hit the mark is, “…great content to build relationship with your readers.” Marketing, in particular soft sell marketing, is all about making the connections and building the relationships in a respectful way.

Ultimately we are not serving our perfect customers and clients well if we don’t move into meeting their needs  by selling our products/services in the spirit of serving them.  Maybe that’s why the line, “…you do it with the aim of converting into a sale…” somehow rubs me the wrong way. It doesn’t hit at the nuances of care for your perfect customers that I think is a critical ingredient, especially in my market of visionaries, messengers, authors, writers, conscious creators, soul-preneurs, and healers.

As a solo professional, the “product” at the moment is me–and the services I provide to help visionaries and conscious creators get their messages out to their perfect customers/clients.

But as a writer, the blog is also a place for developing book content and other creative solutions for people– who may “just” be readers of the blog. It’s designed to give my own perfect clients a taste of my philosophy, values, and style.  They can get a sense of whether it’s a “fit” to consider working with me in a more in-depth way.

So this blog focuses on publishing content in the service of relationship-building, which is itself the foundation  of marketing. It’s also a place for people to learn and gain value even if they don’t buy something right away.

To fully serve people, the next step is to sell something.  At the same time, I  am committed to the importance of publishing remarkable content as a way to build relationships.

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Blog Challenge Webinar

Just minutes to Jeanette Cates’ webinar to launch #blog30, the 30-day blog challenge.

http://meetourmembers.com/blog-challenge-begins/

(also wanting to test the Twitter Tools. Can I figure out how to automate??)

Many thanks to @piotrkrzyzek for his instructions on Twitter Tools.

http://www.piotrkrzyzek.com/automatically-tweet-when-you-make-a-wordpress-blog-post/#comment-53396811

Thank you!

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Boost Your Writing with Reading

I admit it. I’m a book person. (Yearbooks in school started my publishing journey. Then working in corporate book publishing for ~20 years. Then freelancing for a variety of publishers, ghostwriting books, marketing books, writing press releases for books, helping people with web sites about books, coaching people about their books… Finally focusing on creating my own books. And all the while reading and buying still more books. Maybe lightening my load soon when I get my new iPad. We’ll see…)

In fact, I may be a book-a-holic. Yes. There it is. Out there in public. One of my “drugs of choice” is books. My husband despairs of my book piles that threaten to topple over. Our house my not really be sturdy enough to house my existing library. (Clued in about this by those funny cracks that seem to keep appearing…)

During my childhood, summer was a time to fall deeply into books. I’ve also been an avid re-reader, revisiting stories that resonated with me time and again.  “So many books, so little time,” is a phrase that was tailor made for me. How about you?

Simultaneously to reading comes the writing. Or vice versa. In fact, there are real synergies that grow in a process of reading and writing.  Each one feeds off the other.

Many people are interested in bringing more ease and authenticity into their writing. They long to be purposeful with their messages about their businesses and projects and creations and ventures. One of the ways to find your authentic voice is to practice writing, ideally in a public sphere like this blogging challenge, where you will be able to tap into a zeitgeist and community of like-minded others and to receive feedback.  You’ll be both reader and writer here.

In addition to writing, reading can be a powerful way to embrace and test your writing. One summer, I went through the letters of Virginia Woolf — volume after volume. Yes, that summer my friends from college received letters from me that unconsciously picked up the tone and flavor of VW’s letters. You can’t help but learn from your reading. It’s what nourishes your soul and heart and voice and mind.

So I want to acknowledge and thank the folks at Flashlight Worthy Books on Twitter as  @flwbooks for sharing this link. It inspired my blog post (as books are wont to do) and offers windows to “see with fresh eyes” in ways to rethink and revisit your own writing process.

7 Great Titles for a Writer Digging for Inspiration

And welcome to the second 30 day blogging challenge for 2010. Follow the fun on Twitter at #blog30.

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Prepping for June’s Blog Challenge

It’s been quiet over here at http://www.writesynergiescopywriting.com
since I completed Connie Green’s 30-day blog challenge
earlier this month. But lots of things are
simmering on the back burner, so watch for the
feasts and creative explosions to come!

I was revisiting some of the posts a few days ago.
They still sound pretty good! I invite you over
to partake in the synergies that are growing!

There’s another 30-Day Blogging Challenge
coming up! For the entire
month of June, (1-30) there’s a group forming to
continue the blogging fun and business-building.

This time, Jeanette Cates is leading the group.
Go to http://twitter.com/JeanetteCates and search
for #blog30 or connect with her at
http://jeanettecates.com/what-makes-a-great-blog-challenge/
to join the blogging challenge.
Join the fun!
Plus: Today (5-28) Jeanette has “feature member profile”
of yours truly at the customized  member site for this
month’s blog challenge at http://meetourmembers.com/

(So, yes, you’d need to register to see my profile!)
Happy Blogging to All!

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Blown Away by for about Writing 31 of 30

Blown Away 1: Ronna
READ THIS. It’s not mine, but it is utterly amazingly delicious: http://www.ronnadetrick.com/the-truth-about-writing/
In the twitter stream ( @RonnaDetrick ) during the 30 day blogging challenge, I think I came upon Ronna and her Renegade Conversations site courtesy of Molly Gordon (@Shaboom). Ronna’s conversations and writings completely illuminate my path. They help me to shine a little brighter. Check it out and step into the conversation if it’s a match for you, or at least dip in from time to time. She is so smart, so moving, so heart-full. You will find yourself transformed and waking up in spite of yourself.

Blown Away 2: Amy
Again out of the river of tweets, I discovered (thanks to Ronna Detrick) Amy Oscar and another heart-full and deeply resonant blog and sister-writer-inspiratrix.  Congrats to Amy on one book done! Look for my own (upcoming) posts that acknowledge finishing.  Like right now: I acknowledge myself for completing the prior post — #30 in #blog30. Celebrate completion!

Blown Away 3: Danielle
Also a connection via Ronna Detrick: Danielle LaPorte of whitehottruth.com, in praise of women.

Blown Away 4: Isabel
And while it’s technically not writing, I’m deeply moved by Isabel’s mother’s day video to me. Thank you from my heart. Maybe it will give me the courage to start something over there. Isabel’s writing regularly blows me away, so she’s earned her space on this page.

Words of wisdom from soul sisters in so many many places.

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Blown Away Blog Challenge 30 of 30 The Peeps Edition

Blown Away 1: Todd
I didn’t even think about winning a contest when I used (some of) the social media tools I’ve gotten more comfortable with over the past month to spread the word about Todd Temaat‘s “Win Your Local Market” contest. He was looking to generate interest in his work and his upcoming training/membership program.

I was speechless when I heard I’d won his incredibly valuable grand prize of two months of his coaching for communicating all things local online. I literally couldn’t even process the news. Thank you Todd. I look forward to participating in your magical process. And, I think it’s sometimes tough for local market-focused people to “get” all that they can actually do with social media. Many are in the beginning stages, and the steps of your contest might have seemed daunting for someone not already somewhere in the stream already.

Blown Away 2 – ??

Can’t even count all the pleasures and friendships that have grown up over the past month from #blog30 community that grew up around the 30 Day blogging challenge. Of course, to start, there’s the incomparable Connie Ragan Green herself, the woman who convened, gathered, and offered the #blog30 group a “home base” throughout. She’s an inspiring, self-made empire builder who wants to help others build lots of other empires!

Then I connected with writing maven Debra Marrs who started the #blog30 challenge. It worked so well that she got so busy with clients that she didn’t finish. Her encouragement out of the starting gate really fueled me in those early days when I didn’t “know” anyone else. (We’d met through Christina Hills’ Web Site Creation Workshop.)

Can’t even say where to begin to thank all the remarkable people I’ve shared the past month with. Some I’ve gotten to know better than others, but each of you is remarkable, as a person, entrepreneur, and a creator. Thank you. I look forward to staying connected and deepening the conversations as we proceed onward. Hope to see some of you on the June #blog30 under the guidance of Dr. Jeannette Cates.

When in Southern California, I know I have a second home with Melanie Kissell and all the love from the Solo Mompreneur crew. Her heart is bigger than the state of California.

When headed to the East coast, to South Carolina, there’s storyteller and businesswoman extraordinaire, Jeanne Kolenda. Jeanne’s stories are alchemical transformations of everyday life to something  more. She’s partnered in biz with Sue White (on Twitter as @WhiteSue )

Greetings to Terrie Wurzbacher in San Antonio, a warm-hearted doc sharing the wisdom from universal laws at getunstuckllc.com.

My new go-to techXpert: @MyWebGal, Deb Augur, in Washington state.

Heather Bestel in Scotland shows us all how to move from mad dash to organised simplicity with great warmth and charm.

New friends, resources, experts, supporters — Many thanks to all who commented, retweeted, posted, and generally spread the great energy as part of the #blog30  including

Martha Giffen, online maven extraordinaire.

Marcia Hoeck, for all things breakthrough for your  business.

Geoff Hoff, writer’s writer w/ a theatrical flair.

Piotr Krzyzek on marketing and social media.

With gratitude to Annette Nack for her part in the 30 Day blog challenge.

Get fit with 50 and Fit founder, Kazi

Meet Vernon Harleston on The High Road

Find all things health with the All-health expert Robert Britt

Get happy with Happiness Guru Evelyn Roberts Brooks

Where to go for innovation ideas? Innovation Expert Steve Sponseller

Thanks to Gwen Tanner who is inspiring me to reshape my offerings in her role as  @ecoursemaster.

Kudos to Helen Raptoplous an energetic proponent of Moving your Business Forward: Action Habits that Matter Most.

Acknowledging Janet Eisenbise from Coach4LifeChange, sharing insights with grace and wisdom.

Oh, my.  Loving apologies for omissions and those I haven’t caught up with this time. Let’s connect in the follow-on #blog30–coming in June and hosted by Dr. Jeannette Cates! And it will use the same twitter #blog30 hashtag! Thanks to everyone for your support!!

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Writing Your Way to Lifelong Learning — Blog Challenge Post 28

For a year now, I’ve saved a blog post title idea: drinking from the fire hose. It’s a physical and metaphorical image of the overwhelm engendered by the information overload that overtakes me when I consider all the information in every form: books, reports, teleseminars, courses, blogs, web sites, FB. Don’t even mention twitter, google, wiki, squidoo, amazon, ezine articles, or clickbank. It is a gushing river of — you guessed it — words.

Master storyteller Jeanne Kolenda, one of our #blog30 colleagues, recently posted about lifestyle of learning.  Jeanne concludes, “never, ever give up a lifestyle of learning.  It will keep you young, AND make you successful.” Wow. Let’s bottle some of that! I prefer to think of it as lifelong learning, but sometimes I wonder: Am I just being a perpetual student? That definitely has a nasty pejorative ring to it.

Still, the reality is you won’t get far along an entrepreneurial path without constantly refreshing, updating, refining, and expanding your knowledge and skills. You may think you need to go broad or maybe deep. It works differently for different people. But whether you do a deep dive or a cross-section, the next task for the lifelong learner is putting it all into practice, turning knowledge into embodied wisdom. That is the goal I think. To somehow metabolize what you need to know so that you can do what you need to do swiftly and easily.

Yet to understand our constantly evolving selves, we must become in some sense perpetual students to our inner selves, curiously exploring our own patterns of light and shadow. For plumbing those depths, writing is the tool of choice, at least for me. Some can get there with movement, with paints or clay, or with musical notes. Once again — for many —  writing’s eminent adaptability comes through, as the companion on an inner journey, even as it makes up the flow of all the outer forms of information as well. That is the magic and mystery of the Write Synergies Path.

Wise metaphysicians would point out, in addition to all the busy-ness of the doing,  the learning, the delving — both internally and externally — at the root of it all there’s the being. And that’s what actually needs to come first. First being, then doing.

Writing, although it may be the currency and language of the vast majority of the information universe out there, it is also a way to connect with the most profound center and heart of our being.  Although it’s gushing like a firehose to put out the fires of our ignorance, it can also become the river of our own words that carry us to the pulsing heart of our passion and contribution, then safely carries us back out.

Take a deep deep breath. Keep writing. Keep being. And sometimes, the doing will keep.

approaching the end at #blog30

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Writing as Healing — Blog Challenge Post 27

Several years ago, two separate teachers informed me that I was a healer. “But I’m a writer,” I said. “And without a doubt, you’re a healer,” they both insisted. I was surprised. At least in this lifetime, I’ve stayed as far away from the healing arts as I possibly could, except when I insisted on natural, unmedicated childbirth with midwives. Twice. I credited my long-time meditation teachers, Rosita and Sandy at Arche International, with giving me the inner knowledge and training to make such feats possible. Them and the Bradley Method.

I have come to define healing in the broad terms my teachers must have meant. We are all healers at some level. It is that underlying healing intention that I uncover and magnify with my perfect clients, both in our conversations and in writing projects.  The transformational visionaries determined to shift this hinge-historical moment in a positive direction — the conscious creators, heart-based venturers, soul-preneurs, soft sell marketers, the healing visionaries and authors with intentions on a planetary or systemic level — are indeed weaving the healing with every word they (we) publish and client they (we) interact with.

My colleague in the 30-day blog challenge, Kazi (on Twitter as  @50andFit) recently wrote about entrepreneurship as path to self-healing. It’s a post full of common sense and practical tips. Kazi said, “…ensure you get the personal outer and inner cultivation you need to remain healthy and on top of your game. Your attention, time, energy and creativity are all aspects of your Chi. Your Chi is your very life force. It is the very basis of your health, wealth and wisdom.  If you allow your chi to diminish, you allow your life to diminish.”

Like Kazi, I advise care of the life force, the Chi. For my tribe, writing is the very means for that inner and outer cultivation and balancing of Chi. Writing is a way of strengthening the inner, of mining the inner gold of your own thoughts and feelings, many times discovering what you think and feel as you write. One client (who never really liked writing much even from school days) reported that she discovered things about herself that she never knew when she put herself into the process of writing.

From this inner cultivation and strengthening comes the outer development and presentations of our messages and our creations. The outer manifestation of our creation and its outreach message are all the stronger by being forged from the inner fires first.

Words and writing are the tools for the personal inner healing journey. They are metaphysical and alchemical agents of change. They are also the tools for manifesting written creations (books, blogs, brochures, articles, e-courses, even tweets); and they are the raw materials that go into creating the message that will then connect to the people who need to hear it.

Remember: Your creation, book, project, or venture cannot begin to do its healing of the heart of the world until it is out there, full and strong. YOU have to be a strong enough vessel from the inside out, without cracks, to bring your creation all the way into the world. You have to be healed and strong enough to go on helping it grow into the full flowering of the message and healing it is here to do.

Oh, yes. Words are powerful. One colleague recently received a serious wounding by words. Others came in and used words, attempting to mitigate and transform the pain, using their love in words as healing. Writing is healing when healing and wholeness are the intentions.

#Blog30 on Twitter.

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Copywriting: The Case of the Missing Keyword — Blog Challenge Post 26

Copywriting. There. I said it. It’s part of the name of this site. It’s a valuable keyword. But it’s practically invisible, rarely written about here. What gives?

In post 25, defining Write Synergies, I said I’d address the case of this missing keyword—copywriting. I started with Write Synergies, but tacking on a popular keyword seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

On my longer marketing journey from starting this site (and even before) to now, I’ve come to realize that copywriting is a tool. It remains an important tool if you want to connect with your community, your niche market.  Copywriting helps you tell the story of your product or service in a way that connects to your people.  You identify the obstacles and challenges they are facing, then proceed to engage them in a process of understanding and accepting your offer — what will solve the problem or help them overcome the obstacle — the thing that’s most present and painful relating to your topic. (And if you’re like most of my ideal clients, you’ll add lots of value and transformations along the way, what those clients need but didn’t know they could even dream of asking for.)

The old definition of copywriting was “Salesmanship in print.” You’ll still find that traditional kind of copywriting around: hard sell sales letters, fear-based mailings, screen after screen of online letters, flashing buttons and arrows, an urgency that feels false and forced. “Salesmanship” is changing even as the jaded, cynical and info-overloaded world of people out there surfing, texting, tweeting, are finally realizing they are hungry for something else, something different, something more nourishing to both body and soul.

For those of us calling ourselves soul-preneurs, conscious creators, authors, writers, artists, healers, those in conscious business or soft sell marketing or mindful service providers and messengers with a message of change, hope and transformation, we are the ones committed to contributing and serving our communities.  For us, that kind of copywriting doesn’t ring true. Our people are looking for a genuine connection. In the old regime, authenticity and genuine connection are in short supply.  Our people hunger for our authenticity to touch their hearts. We know it, yet all that seems to be available are the old tools.

My writing journey and client interactions have indicated that copywriting, as a tool for outer expression, is best partnered with an inner journey first.  Many of the posts at Write Synergies Copywriting set the stage and make the case for the importance of that inner journey, what I sometimes call your creative or marketing vision quest. In fact, if you’ve followed along the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, you’ve joined me on an inner journey here.

While I’ve said very little about copywriting, it’s not because copywriting is not important. Rather, it’s because for those of us who bring the fire and passion of service and contribution and leadership to our work, copywriting, at least in the old sense, is necessary but not sufficient.

Some of my clients don’t even like it that I have copywriting as part of the name of my site. “That sells you short. It doesn’t get close to all you do!” they cry. But it is a piece of what I do. Crazy as it sounds, the big vision at WriteSynergiesCopywriting is to literally redefine the model and best practices for what copywriting really means. Copywriting, by the way, is but one of the many pieces of magic I do with words. The point I emphasize to all my clients is the crucial role that the inner journey plays, even in a seemingly straightforward process like copywriting.

Part of the magic, in doing this inner Write Synergies work with clients (and before getting to the copywriting per se) is that we excavate each client’s inner voice. We uncover the vision at the heart of her purpose, why she is here, why she is called to share her message.  We tap into the deepest level of authenticity that he is willing and able to bring to forth at the present moment. Who knows? Maybe in the next iteration, we will go deeper.

Copywriting is a tool, a powerful tool. During its heyday in the 20th Century, it convinced us we needed things that we didn’t even know we needed.  (Maybe, as it turns out, we really didn’t need them…) Now in this paradigm-changing moment, we reshape the old tools to the new world. We reconfigure the tools to serve the highest purpose that we can manifest in our work and creations. The new reforged tools are malleable partners with you (more synergies magic!) to communicate the highest message, the conscious and mindful path that your project, venture or creation offers to your tribe. We are in the midst of a transformative and visionary moment. I urge you to reforge the tools at hand using the heat and fire drawn from your inner journey first.

There are plenty of practical tools and many great teachers. I was inspired to write about my own “missing keyword” when I read this post by my colleague Connie Ragan Green, the brilliant and diligent teacher who convened this 30 day blogging challenge. It seems keywords are a challenge for many of us.

For practical, hands-on insights around keywords for your tribe, check out Connie’s post: http://ebookwritingandmarketingsecrets.com/free-keyword-research-how-to-use-keywords-to-build-your-internet-business/#comment-4427

Hey #blog30: We are sprinting to the finish line. It’s been a blast!

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