Story Should be the Priority

I am reading Lilly Singh’s new book “How to be a Bawse” and, in my plight to ensure that those who hear my voice know the importance of using YOUR voice and not that of “Don Draper”, for your social media marketing, came across yet another WIN … someone who agrees with me on story over selling. Lilly says “The story should be the priority first and foremost” … her context is slightly different than my intent here; hers was surrounding an epic video shoot she did where some things went wrong and the videographer (from a different company, not someone on her team) was more concerned about the mic booms rather than the story those mics were picking up (my paraphrase).

Take this image, as an example, and I’m slightly overcompensating here as well, but check it out…which image would base your decision on buying the most perfect cup of coffee; the woman in her perfectly polished coffee set or the hiker who is rewarding himself after a great climb and drinking out of a thermos cap? To me this SCREAMS the differences between what we now call traditional advertising and story selling (aka social selling).

More and more the general public is trusting the story, the REAL story (in the form of Snaps and Instagram Stories and Facebook Lives), over the billboard. The “buy it because I said so” or “buy it because our company has been around forever” story is no longer as effective as it once was. Social people want the social proof and engagement; yes, even from the BIG companies, before they’ll even CONSIDER your product or service.

The choice is yours; traditional (tv, radio, newspaper, magazine, billboard, direct mail) advertising or story-selling. Have you even begun comparing numbers? If you haven’t, you should.

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The Evolution of Mothers Day

evolution of mothers day

Mothers Day … such high expectations are placed on kids when they’re young; it’s all about giving breakfast in bed, making a gift and a card, spending the day doing what mom loves OR leaving mom alone. There’s nothing wrong with ANY of this, it’s wonderful … BUT, as life goes on we know that this day is not really about the gifts or the stuff.

I recall those breakfast in bed days; cute, but more work for me than anything as I always had to clean up the, most likely, spilled orange juice or mess left behind after they had no clue how to make coffee. It was adorable of them to try, but they only REALLY did it because they thought they were supposed to.

And what about Mothers Day for the woman who has lost a child during childbirth, or the mom that has aborted or abandoned their child. This day, no matter how awful those circumstances may be, is also for them, and gosh, how hard that must be. I can’t really wrap my head around what that would feel like.

Then there are those of us whose Mothers have left this earth already; celebrating my mom just makes me sad still, even though she’s been gone 15 years. Being Motherless is a feeling of helplessness; it’s like something is missing; a void that can never be filled.

This day is SO geared towards the giving of things, when, at the end of the day, all MOST moms really want is to be loved, needed, appreciated and to spend time with their children … a laugh, a talk, a hug, a smile. Meals are great, gifts, yes, also really wonderful but, you want to know something? I had the most WONDERFUL evening with my two daughters today, and my FAVOURITE part of the few hours we spent together was us sitting in the car at the end of our date talking and laughing. We sat in the car like horny teenagers steaming up the windows but ONLY because we were talking and laughing so hard. Those are memories being made. The gifts; they’re wonderful (truth … I just about fainted with delight when I found out my 22 year old cut from a lilac bush across the street to make sure I had flowers!) and I am so grateful for their generosity; but as I age, and learn more and more of what life is truly about, the gift of time is the most precious of all.

As Mothers Day evolves over the timeline of your family, may the gift of time be what is most given, and most treasured.


How to Launch a Book


It’s no secret (if you are following me anywhere on social media) that I, along with coauthor Rob Anspach of Anspach Media, launched a book on Amazon on May 5, 2017.

It was a brand new experience for me, and learning from a pro like Rob made it a lot easier. There is a LOT to do, yet oddly when someone who knows what they are doing leads the way it doesn’t seem that difficult.

I go over a few details in my video, but I’ll also explain in more detail, the steps that we went through to launch a book.

First of all, writing and launching a book, like anything, is only as easy or as hard as you make it. There are many methods of achieving a goal; but it mostly boils down to how badly you want to achieve it. Once Rob had planted this idea in my head of writing about the work I had been doing with Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, I couldn’t WAIT to get started on this project and see it through.

Because I didn’t know ANYTHING about the process at the outset of this project, I 100% followed Rob’s lead. Thankfully Rob is a trusted friend and colleague and I could trust him with this work that I had begun in 2016. Also, thankfully, Rob has written several books prior to this one, so again, I trusted his experience and guidance.

First things first; if you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t bother writing about it. This is definitely NOT a case of “fake it till you make it”. You must not only be knowledgeable about your subject matter, but experience would definitely be an asset as well. You must have a passion for your topic or it won’t flow.

The method Rob and I used to initially get our thoughts and ideas out was to interview each other over Zoom. There we went over ideas and started forming the content.

Through a series of interviews we created the outline and filled it in with as much detail as we could generate. From those video recordings a written draft was created, and from that draft, after we each set our eyes on it for revisions and editing, a book was born.

We then had a graphic designer fashion the cover, which turned out really well (after a few attempts). Once Rob and I were both happy with it the next step was the last; the actual publishing of the book. For this step you will have to speak with Rob; he has published multiple times before and was able to get ours done fairly quickly. There is also this book (NOT an affiliate link) if you are ready to attempt doing it on your own.

A little side note, I’ve already purchased this one as my next book I am going to do on my own…I’m a little hard core when it comes to proving to myself I can do things on my own.

It was at this point where the “friend-moters” took over! I talk about this in the video, so check that out…it was AMAZING how well it worked! I’m SO honoured and blessed to have had so many amazing people help promote No Experience Necessary for us!

And that, as they say, is that. There are not many steps are required, but consistency and a real desire to get it done, will help you launch your own book one day!

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What is the Value of a Life

the value of life

Recently I chatted with someone who is dealing with an ill and aging father. He is considering documenting, using social media, the journey of the particular path of alzheimer’s that his father is on, in hopes of not only finding people who are traveling similar paths, but also in hopes of potentially offering some guidance and insight into those who will, in future, consume his stories. Of course I encouraged him to do just that as this idea of sharing one’s story is one of the main reasons why Rob Anspach and I wrote “No Experience Necessary! Social Media for the Boomer, Gen X-er and the Over 50 Entrepreneur”.

My friend and I then ventured into talking about “death care”. He said he doesn’t call it health care anymore (for his personal situation). This in particular led me to my thoughts on what is the value of life. The value of death is huge … apparently it’s a multi-trillion dollar industry. There are massive expenses once someone passes. Both of my parents have passed, and thankfully someone else in the family was in charge of knowing what to do when the time came as I was a mess. Suffice to say; there were funeral costs and other costs that I was in too much of a fog to even remotely understand.

Here is my question though; what if someone can’t afford the cost of death? Does that make he or she any less valuable in their lifetime? Does that make their family, their history, their stories any less important or relevant?

I emphatically say NO. One’s life is invaluable … you cannot place a value on it whether or not the most ornate of caskets is part of the funeral procession. A life is a life. In my humble opinion, unless you live your life intentionally trying to hurt people and damage other people’s lives, we are all of the highest value and should be adorned, adored and treated such.

Stories need to be documented…this puts us all on the same playing field. One story is no more valuable than the other. Wait, I take that back, the story that goes to the grave is worth far more, as it will never be known. What else puts us on the same level is that the method of sharing is free, and available to everyone … social media.

My paternal grandmother took some stories with her to the grave; ones I wish I knew. She was a divorced woman in a time when divorce was vehemently frowned upon. How did she survive the judgmental looks, and who knows what else? Even I, being divorced in the 1990’s, could barely handle it. I wanted and needed to draw on her experience, but it was nowhere to be found. That made it harder; honestly.

These, among others, are reasons why Rob and I wrote this book. We want you to come away with the confidence and tools to share your story, because truly, future generations WILL depend on it.

Pre-ordering is now taking place; you can order the Kindle version for as low as 99 cents (that price will go up once the book officially launches on May 5, 2017).

Share your story with confidence…it matters.


No Experience Necessary

The Differences Between Snapchat and other Storytelling Apps

The Differences Between Snapchat and other Storytelling Apps

There’s been a lot of buzz lately over comparing Snapchat, Instagram Stories, Messenger Day and Facebook Stories. In today’s Facebook LIVE I talk about MY experiences with the two main ones that I’ve been using for almost two years now, and just a few takeaways for you.

While there aren’t many, there are some differences between Snapchat and the other storytelling apps that I talk about in this video.

  • Audience
  • Retention
  • Community & Engagement
  • Creativity
  • Stats & Analytics

Those are the main ones I cover in this video…

In the end, you’re the one who decides what:

  • you’re desired outcome is
  • who your audience is and where they live
  • what your message is
  • why you’re even using the storytelling apps in the first place
  • etc. etc.

There ARE a lot of options out there today, so follow this list I wrote here to determine what your actions may (or may not) be. You’ll know when you’ve hit the right one; it will be the one with the most engagement, and fun and overall great experience!

If you are over 50 and need just a little bit more help; come over to the50plusentrepreneur website and grab my free report on social media for the 50 plus crowd! I know you will really enjoy it!