My 3 Words for 2013

3 Words for 2013Why 3 Words

It’s Jan 1, 2013. New Years Day. One of the busiest days in gyms all across the world. Resolutions are fresh and exciting, and intact. And while having some specific goals, resolutions, or whatever you want to call them are great ways to help you grow in those specific areas, I have been challenged with taking a larger perspective for 2013.  I first heard about  the idea of 3 words from Chris Brogan a couple years ago. The idea is to pick 3 words that serve as icons, symbols and reminders, of your larger vision for the year. Words to keep coming back to in order to evaluate, guide, measure your day-to-day actions. They should be big words that apply to multiple roles in your life instead of specific, niche ideas. Think of them as broad themes instead of narrow story lines. (Chris does a great job explaining this in his post on his 3 Words.)

My 3 Words for 2013

Story – In 2013 I want to focus on living a story that is worth telling, and even more importantly, I want to help other people and organizations tell their story more effectively. Over the past couple years, I’ve come to realize how important story is in our lives. The stories we tell ourselves, and the stories we tell others. Our world is shaped by those who tell and live the best stories.

Explore – In 2013 I want to dive into the world. I tend to like the familiar. This year I want to be intentional about exploring new places and ideas and developing new relationships. Part of this is to expand my world, and part of this is because I have two teenagers and I want to expose them to the limitless possibilities that lie before them.

Now – Context is one of my strengths. Looking to the past to see how we got where we are today. And in our business we do a lot of thinking about and planning for the future with our clients. And while both of those are important, I can tend to lose sight of the present. But now is important. It is what you do today that will actually change things. So in 2013 I will focus on being present in life. On living in the moment, on being with the people that are present, and working on the task that is at hand. Now is the only time you can do anything.

There is some overlap in those three words – on purpose. These are the three words that will go on my screen saver, on note cards, and other places to remind me, encourage me, challenge me to make 2013 a great year.

Julie’s Word

Julie doesn’t like the 3 word idea. She says she is to ADD for 3 words, and instead choses 1 word for each year. This year her word is Determined

What are your 3 words (or 1 word) for 2013? We’d love for you to share them in the comments or link to your blog?

 

 

Non-profit Executives on Social Media

One question that comes up consistently at rm2g from our non-profit executive friends is, “If my non-profit has a social media space, do I still have to personally engage on these platforms as well?”

The answer is simple.

Yes, yes, yes and yes.

My question back to them is always this—Why wouldn’t you?

As a nonprofit leader, would you ever walk out of, or even refuse to enter a room full of people talking about your organization or the issues you care about? Would you just ignore them?

I don’t think so. Not ever.

But unfortunately, that is what you are doing everyday you avoid the social space. And trust me, your constituents are noticing.

If you are not personally engaging on these platforms you are frustrating your organization’s advocates, who want to hear from you. You may even be causing them to wonder what are you trying to hide.

And trust me, they aren’t thinking the things on the list you have in your head. The I can’t be on social media, they might think… That list. You know the one.

They aren’t thinking:

  • How much time is he/she spending here?
  • Is this what my donation is going to support?
  • Why don’t they just get a volunteer to do this?

On the contrary, when you are personally engaged online and you take the time to answer questions about the non-profit you manage, from your own profile, your supporters are wowed.

They are more likely thinking:

  • Wow, that was quick. And a personal response!
  • This person truly cares about the mission of the organization and about me.
  • How great that I can get in touch with them and connect on a personal level.

I’m not saying that hiring someone or allowing a volunteer to manage your organization’s accounts is always bad. But I am saying that doing so doesn’t give you a permission to check out of the space. And having someone else manage your personal accounts just doesn’t work. It is you they want to hear from as a leader, and you come across as phony when someone else is writing your posts. And if you think they won’t find out, think again.

Your constituents expect you to be there, in your own voice, joining in the conversation, sharing your leadership lessons and telling the story of your organization. Don’t disappointment them.

We can help you with executive training and get you socially engaged on the  platforms that are right for you personally.

If you need assistance, please contact us. This is one of the most favorite things we do at Rocky Mountain Media Group.

Are you connected with any non-profit executives on social media who are doing this well? Who?

Five “C”s to better blogging

Do you want to generate more blog traffic? Are you finding it challenging to maintain a consistent readership? Here are five “C”s that will help you take that next step as a blogger. After each I have included a couple of examples for you to check out.

Content

Many beginning bloggers don’t have a strategy for generating content. Developing a plan focused on a few specific topics that you are knowledgeable about is key. The old saying “Content is King” is just as true today as it always has been. The most successful blogs all have great content. These are the blogs you return to again and again because you know the author has put the time in and will deliver. Our picks for content kings are Michael Hyatt’s and Ron Edmondson’s blogs. Both pack a content punch where leadership material is concerned. Even if you aren’t into leadership material, take note on their content structure. They are the best.

Character

Did you know blogs have personalities? If yours doesn’t, this could be a problem generating traffic. Is your blog funny or serious? Can you be trusted? Ideally your blog is an extension of your personality. Spend some time working out what the character of your blog will be. Are you too guarded? The best blogs are authentic. Two of our favorite blogs that are extensions of the authors personalities are Stuff Christians Like by Jon Acuff, and the Barefoot Executive by Carrie Wilkerson. If I ever get the chance to meet these online superstars in person, I am sure they will be the same in person as they are online.

Consistency

Not only writing great content, but doing so on a consistent basis is essential for a creating a successful blog. For some, this is difficult. It is why I have started not one, but two personal blogs only to let them die a slow and painful death. (Third time is a charm. I am learning from my mistakes and hoping to launch my new consistent personal blog in January) Some words of wisdom here — you have to develop a schedule of when you will have new posts. Your audience expects this from you, and if you don’t stick to a schedule you will lose some of them. The details of the schedule aren’t as important as having and sticking to one. So decide how often you will post (Mon, Wed, Fri or Tues, Thurs, or every day) and make a commitment to stick with it. Without consistency, you won’t be able to achieve our next “C”. A couple of bloggers that I read consistently are  Seth Godin and Maurilio Amorim.

Community

Your blog can be a gathering place for conversation around whatever topic you are passionate about. It can be about motherhood, exercise, leadership, horses or spiritual development. The choices are endless. Regardless of the topic you choose, you can create an atmosphere that builds community. These are the blogs where the comments and conversations are just as important as the blog post itself. To reach this level of blogging you must be inviting. The comments need to be open and conversations friendly, even when people disagree. One of my favorite blogs that has an active community is Ann Voskamp’s blog AHolyExperience. Ann has built a whole movement with her followers who are passionate about sharing their “1000 Gifts”. It is a community of gratitude and it is simply beautiful. Another example is Carlos Whitaker’s Ragamuffin Soul.

Connections

All that wonderful content you are creating is just sitting there without connections. It still blows my mind the numbers of bloggers that Jeff and I talk to who don’t utilize social media to drive traffic to their sites. Especially Twitter. Twitter is almost a must use for bloggers. Sharing when you have a new post with your followers can not only get them to your blog, but allows them to easily share your post with their followers too. You can essentially share your post with thousands of people you don’t know. If you haven’t set up your Twitter profile yet, you can check out our earlier posts on getting started. Through Twitter and other social media platforms you can build a steady stream of new readers that share your passions and will contribute to the community. You should also make it easy for your readers to share your content via social channels. Most blog platforms allow plugins (like the ones on the left of this post) that allow readers to share valuable content with just a click. (Go ahead, share this post — you know you want to). Another way to build connections is reading and commenting on other blogs that cover similar topics. Almost all of the bloggers I have listed do this really well.

 

So there you have it. Five “C”s that can help you take the next step as a blogger. Maybe you are just getting started and need to focus on what kind of content you will produce. Or maybe you haven’t developed the voice or character of your blog. Perhaps you just haven’t committed to consistency. If you have already done those things, I encourage you to focus on building a community and making connections. Which “C”s do you need to work on? Let us know in the comments and let’s help each other out as we journey together.