Do Something Unusual Tomorrow

Your time is valuable, we hear it all the time, but what does that really mean? Is it a dollar amount, a certain number of hours per day devoted to work or family, always arriving somewhere on time? For each of us, it’s a little different. In the course of 2 days, my youngest son started pre-k, and my oldest son started college. I’ve been blessed to be able to be home with my boys for the last 7 years. That being said, I was ready for everyone to be in school so that I could have dedicated hours each day to focus on my business without the constant interruptions of small children. We dropped our 3rd-grade son off without a problem. Our pre-k boy was suddenly no longer interested in going to school.  His excitement about going from a few days prior had turned to dread, and he clung to daddy and me in the hallway, pleading with us not to go....
Read More
You Can’t Please Everyone All the Time

You Can’t Please Everyone All the Time

Hi, I’m Vickie, and I am a people pleaser with a touch of Type A personality. In many aspects, this is why I am good at what I do. It is also why it’s easy for me to suffer a serious case of burn-out, which explains why I have taken a bit of a hiatus recently. During the past few months, I’ve decided to make some big changes in my business model. At one point, we were supporting 18 clients with a team of 14. While many would call that a success, it was quite overwhelming. In my mind, by having more clients, we were supporting more people; by adding team members, I was providing income for them to support their families. Guess what happened? In my attempt to keep everyone happy, I was making myself miserable. I was working around the clock, throughout the weekend and on holidays, missing church, forgetting important events, and with very little to show for...
Read More

Rekindling Your Passion

The past few days have been rough for my family and me. My husband and 18-year old son are both firefighters, and not many people know that I am a certified Emergency Medical Responder and support firefighter. As a support firefighter, I am on scene to assist the firefighters in performing their jobs, from bringing them water to ensuring that the air tanks are full to cleaning and rolling fire hose. Many people talk about how brave it is to watch a firefighter run into a burning building to save a complete stranger when everyone else is running out. Last week, a local firefighter died in the line of duty. He left his house that morning, kissed his family good-bye, and never came home. Over the weekend, I had the honor of meeting his wife, attending his service, and participating in the procession. The pastor speaking at the service said, “Being a fireman is not what you do; it’s who you...
Read More

Do I Need a Speaker Sheet?

Whether you are new to the speaking business, or you've doing it for years, you might be asking yourself whether you really need a speaker sheet? The answer is YES! Think of your speaker sheet the same way you would a resume. It’s an extension of your personal brand, and how you market yourself. Yes, you may be able to land some jobs without a resume, but most likely you’d have to have some other kind of connection in order to do so. A speaker sheet introduces you to event coordinators and anyone else in charge of booking speakers and helps keep you on their radar. What should a speaker sheet include? Let’s tackle the must-haves first, and then we’ll move on to optional items. An effective speaker sheet must include the following: Your name Positioning statement If you stand out from your competition, and we certainly hope that you do, the individuals interested in booking you are going to want to know about that. What is it...
Read More

Why We Think a Personal Brand is Essential

Just what IS a personal brand anyway? Do I need a personal brand? The fact is, you already have one. At this moment it might be entirely incongruent with how you would like to be seen by your clients and customers. You may not have known until just now that it exists, but it’s there. Since your personal brand already exists, shouldn’t you use it to your advantage? You probably already know that you have only a second or two after someone first lands on your website to convince them to stick around. The same is true for your social media presence. If people aren’t impressed by what they see or able to recognize that you can meet a need they have, they will likely move on in less than five seconds. This can be a little intimidating, so we pulled together some tips to help you refine your personal brand. How do I improve my personal brand? The idea of personal branding might be...
Read More

Social Media Best Practices for Contests

A great way to increase your engagement, expand your audience, and grow your influence is to run a contest or a giveaway on social media. A contest is a great way to get people interested in your brand, and it will draw in those who are interested in the products or services you offer. Here are a few suggestions for running your own contest. Make sure you know and follow the rules of running contests Certain social media platforms have very specific rules about running contests. Others have no guidelines at all. A quick Google search will enable you to find everything you need to know to make sure your contest or giveaway is within the parameters set by the company. Keep your giveaway on-brand Most of the people who follow you or have liked your page are primarily interested in your product or service. If you are a speaker who helps people launch their own business, giving away your favorite book on launching...
Read More

Social Media Best Practices For Event Marketing

When should you start promoting your upcoming event on social media? That depends upon the nature of the event. For larger, national conferences that are often booked a year in advance, start promoting no later than 6 months prior to the event. For smaller shows, start about 2-4 weeks prior to the event. Here is a general breakdown of how we promote events for our clients. Please note that as each event is unique, we create a specific social media marketing plan for each one.   The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, is connect on social media with the organization and organizers hosting the event. If possible, take these initial steps as soon as you are booked, before promotion for the event has begun. Facebook - Follow the organization/association where you are speaking; post about the event and your topic(s). If there is a registration link, include it. Twitter – Find out if there is a hashtag for the event as...
Read More

Social Media Best Practices for an Engaged Virtual Audience

Social media best practices change almost daily. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Try these social media best practices to boost engagement with your virtual audience. The basics: Best times to post? General rule of thumb: Facebook: Monday – Friday, 1-4pm Twitter: Monday – Thursday, 1-3pm LinkedIn: Tuesday – Thursday 12-6pm Google+: Monday – Friday, 9-10am Pinterest: Saturday morning Posting more than once a day? Space out your posts. Your audience loves you, but they don’t necessarily want to see your posts one after another. How often? Posting once or many times per day depends on the platform. Twitter changes quickest, so your audience expects you to post several times a day. Multiple daily posts are also acceptable on Pinterest. Rotate which boards you post to. On platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, stick with minimal daily posts. This works well: Facebook – 1-2 times daily Twitter – 1-14 times LinkedIn – 1 time Google+ - 1-2 times Pinterest – 1-14 times We sit with our clients once a month and review their upcoming speaking engagements, webinars, product launches, and...
Read More
Get Ready For Your Best Year Yet

Get Ready For Your Best Year Yet

Believe it or not, 2015 is just around the corner. In a little over a month, we’ll be into the New Year! Have you taken time to evaluate this year yet? How did 2014 go for you? Did you meet your goals? As all business owners know, planning is essential if you want to stay in business. Even more so if you want your business to expand and grow! For most of us, business doesn’t just grow on its own. We have to be intentional, and that requires having an action plan to execute on.   Write it down Yes, everyone from fitness coaches to commencement speakers tell you to write down your goals. But there are some very compelling reasons to do so. Goals that are specific, measurable, and broken down into realistic steps have a big influence on your overall outcome. This is as true for personal goals as it is for business.   Use your team It’s helpful to keep goals somewhere accessible and...
Read More
What’s Holding You Back?

What’s Holding You Back?

By Sarah Parsons, marketing director for Vickie Nickel & Associates This month I’m doing a Minimalism Challenge with a group of friends. It’s been a great way to stay on top of doing a little each day and making forward progress with small blocks of time. It has also highlighted a few of my own weaknesses when it comes to any goal-oriented project or task. The big discovery this week: Lack of thorough planning ahead derails momentum. How it Went Down Yesterday afternoon, I was in a mad rush to get my house picked up and food made before some friends arrived for dinner. I’d had a great day: I got some solid work time in, had a fantastic inside picnic with my preschooler and did some fun outside play with both boys, and had adequate time left for cooking and a quick clean. If that was the end of the story, I could bill myself as the poster-child for Rockstar Work-at-Home Mom. And who...
Read More