How to take effective meeting minutes

By January 26, 2015 Productivity
how-to-write-meeting-minutes

Don’t sweat it if your asked to take notes during a meeting. There is a 7 point, easy and effective formula for taking kick-ass meeting minutes that will make you look like a pro when you’re done. Log important decisions, and create a helpful point of reference for everyone who attends. Following this wont take more then 20 minutes of your time after the actual meeting to compose.


Before you start, add a snappy heading, preferably something that co-relates with the meeting invite you all got, Then get cracking with the following seven headings:

In attendance:

Who is present and where are they from and state the responsible note taker

Date & location:

what date is it and where are you

Agenda:

If you have one, or the purpose/goal of the meeting, why you are there and what you want out of the meeting.

Meeting notes:

Start by adding any points raised.

Decisions:

Highlight decisions from the meeting, in co-relation to any points raised.

Actions:

List the actions from the meeting and add who is responsible for it and if there is a deadline for the action. This is your collective to-do list after the meeting and helps you follow up.

Deadlines:

if there are any key dates or crucial dates raised, list them as well, add them to an action, if related to one, or list separately.


Whip this template up in a word doc/Evernote or whatever you use, or download a template here and you’re good to go.

 

 

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Book review: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

By January 19, 2015 Digital Insights

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World - gary vaynerchuk

It’s refreshing with finding a book with this perspective of social media where the focus is on that you are on the playground of the consumer, i.e their space, their terms and your job as a marketeer is to find out what creates a REAL connection with your audience, and how to build a real community around what you are doing.

I picked up Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook after seeing an episode of Marie TV where Marie Forleo interviews the author in question. As I liked what he had to say, I had to pick up a copy of his new book. Fortunately for me it was an instant buy from iBooks. (I love iBooks and the Newsstand, instant satisfaction guaranteed!)

I was in need for a fresh breeze and perspective for my social media activities, and if you’re to learn something, you ought to learn from the best and I found what I was looking for along the way while reading this book.

I read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook with a notebook on the side where I took notes and sketched out ideas I got while reading. I strongly recommend this, since you too will probably get a few ideas while reading it. I also wanted to make sure I could form steps relating to the activities I do for the ventures I’m involved in, from the book. It’s easier for me to learn that way to make real life, practical examples straight away.

 

This is why I think you should read this book:
  • Gary Vaynerchuk does a great job describing the different current “social media platforms” and what he has found works on them and how you can find out what works for you.
  • By taking the pressure away from content creating, the book contains advice on creating micro-content suitable for each platform.
  • The book contains case studies by big and small brands where Gary Vaynerchuk points out what is good and also what is bad, and in some cases really, really bad. As a small business owner, you’d be happy to read them and also to get ideas for your own content.
  • The book is divided into chapters centered around one platform at the time. So you can easily focus on one social media platform at a time and work your way through them. But also pick and choose which platform is relevant for what you are doing.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk reinforces that by following the masses in social media leads to mediocrity. Don’t be afraid to do you own thing.
  • Get to grips with content creation and telling compelling stories.

 

Social media platform mentioned in this book:

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and briefly covers opportunities in emerging platforms.


The book is available from amazon or iBooks.


Image source: amazon.com. Source linked above and the image is used for promotional purposes only.

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On intention and goal setting

By January 12, 2015 Life Through My Eyes, Productivity
goal_intention

2015 is in full swing and the calm of the holiday period may or may not have given one the opportunity to go within and do some self-assessments for the new year. Nevertheless, a new year is an opportunity for a fresh start for many, therefore I thought I’d share something I recently found in a book that I started to read during my Christmas break.  I found this useful for setting goals and gaining clarity on intention.

It’s five quick questions which I will take with me throughout 2015 as a tool. Not just for the start of this year, but throughout the year.

The method is called V2MOM and originates from Marc Benioff (founder and CEO of Salesforce.com) that created this method as a result of going to a Tony Robbins event. I found this in the books foreword which happened to be written by Marc Benioff:

  • What do I really want? (vision)
  • What is important about it? (values)
  • How will I get it? (methods)
  • What is preventing me from having it? (obstacles)
  • How will I know I am successful? (measurements)

 

These questions are best used as a tool for something that you re-assess on a regular basis. I’m going to try this once a month on a few key areas.

If you are interested to know more about V2MOM there is a blog post written by Marc Benioff on how he has utilised V2MOM within Salesforce to focus, align the company and reach it’s goals as an enormous organisation.


V2MOM

 

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Choose yourself

By November 2, 2014 Creativity
copyright tim-gutt-vogue-ralph-lauren

I read this post by Gala Darling a couple of weeks back on the subject and signification of choosing yourself. She reinforces that, since we live in the digital age, we don’t need someone to discover us to make our wildest dreams come true. You can reach your dreams all by yourself. I think she is right and she writes most intelligent and encouraging on the subject.

I thought I would continue on this topic and give you a list of people to be inspired by that have in fact picked themselves and in some capacity by using modern technology:

Marie Forleo – Marie had a dream to teach other women about business, how to create a better life and marketing. On the side of her coaching business she started her own channel on YouTube, which now has a huge world wide following.

Russel Brand – this high octane comedian and actor started his own channel called Trews on YouTube to start sharing the news but in a “truth” format/angle. I suspect this is after getting sick of being exposed to to much news in the State in particular, he wanted to distribute facts and news on topics that he is passionate about. Such as poverty, environment and similar.

Oprah – after resigning from the ABC Network she started OWN, her own network.

Nubby Twiglet - she picked herself, her dream and started her very own agency. She picked herself, and her dreams instead of working for others and is now crafting her own fate and making a mark in the industry. It all started with her personal blog, and she is now taking on clients from all over the world.
Gala Darling – obviously since she has published her book by herself, co-founded Blogacademy and started her blog, which are all hugely successful. All online.


Tools to make your dreams come true

Leverage the power of the online world by starting small. Here is a list of a few tools that you can set-up today, all available online:
Do you have a dream about a book deal? Publish your own book with Blurb.

Do you dream about your own magazine? Get it out there with Issuu.

Have any other item to sell. such as a theme, a plug-in or even your own CD’s? Try GumRoad.

Want to start freelancing but are scared to take the leap. Start slowly by getting involved in a project with Blur.

Start your own tv-show on Youtube.

Start a newsletter on a topic you are madly in love with with MailChimp.

Start a blog on something you are passionate about with WordPress.

No inspiration? or too many talents to choose from? then get on hitReCord and find a project to team up on and add your creative flair to it.

 


 

To add a cherry on the top, check out this abundant list from Wall Street Journal with articles on the topic of why small business can actually compete with big giants.

 


Image copyright: Tim Gutt for Vogue/Ralph Lauren

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Make your company facebook page stand out

By October 26, 2014 Digital Marketing Simplified
facebook-elegantly-vegan

This article contains all you need to know to make your Facebook fan page stand out from the masses. From creating content, ensuring the page is on brand and installing useful page tabs/apps that will increase engagement. A few tweaks will make a huge difference. If you want to browse my page, you can do so here, it has most of these apps etc installed.


Header image

Use one big, image or a larger collage of images. Be aware of the placement of the logo and the page name next to the logo. Save your header in png format.

For all images

Save in PNG format to avoid grainy images, especially logos in one colour benefits from the png format.

 

Get the vanity URL

I.g you want the proper name for your facebook page, the facebook.com/yourcompanyname for your facebook page url. Get the up to date instructions on how to obtain this over here.

 

Exchange all tab/app images with your own images

To ensure brand consistency and look and feel of your facebook page I recommend that you create your own images for your facebook tab/apps. They are 111 px x 74 px. To exchange them you do the following steps:

1. Go to your facebook page, click on settings.

facebook-apps-step1

2. Click on apps in the column on the left hand side.

3. Under added apps, click on edit settings.

4. Click on custom tab image, change image.

facebook-edit-step2

5. In the top right corner of the image on the new page, click on edit image, then browse for your images.

facebook-step-3

6. Repeat for all your tab/apps, then you’re done.

TIP: This is also where you re-name your tabs/apps. If you want to give them a more appropriate name, use the custom tab name field to write your own, preferred tab/app name.


 

Link in an external page as a tab/app

If it’s relevant, you can link in an external page, underneath the “facebook app” section of your page. You can use the iframehost app for this. Which enables you to set the width of the page etc. Tip – the viewing are on facebook is set to 800 px (at the time of writing this). So ensure your external page content fits nicely within the available area on your facebook page.

 

Get more sign-ups for your newsletter

If you have a newsletter, I recommend that you connect your email marketing list with facebook. By that I mean that the sign-up process should be available here,  I use MailChimps so I recommend to install their app. If you use another ESP, then investigate if they offer an facebok app for sign-up. My list have increased tremendously since enabling sign-ups through facebook.

 

Add your instagram feed

If you have instagram, it can be nice to have this available as a separate tab on facebook. Use this app for instagram.

 

Let your fans recommend your page to other friends

There is an app on facebook which enables your fans to recommend your facebook page, great for building your facebook page fan base.

 

Add twitter as a separate tab

To add your twitter feed in a separate tab, use this app. I recommend adding twitter as a separate tab rather then posting tweets on your facebook page, in your feed.

 

Add your Pinterest boards as a separate tab

To add your Pinterest boards in a neat tab on your facebook page, use this app.

 

For creating content with higher engagement rates

Use this facebook page to get the accurate sizes and dimensions for all the most up to date image sizes for all image content available for facebook pages. This also includes mobile sizes and safe areas.

 

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How to fulfill your dreams when you have a day-job

By October 19, 2014 Life Through My Eyes

Dreams

There are many ways to fulfil ones dreams. When you work a 9 to 5 job or a 9 to whatever-time-job, one might not see it that way.

However, I’m here to tell you that yes – there are possibilities to take steps towards doing something you always dreamed about regardless your current circumstances. Either it being creating something, like writing a book or taking a longer trip somewhere. Its about time management, determination and having the guts to change things around. These are my X steps/questions to you, to help you achieve your dream – which I have used – you have the benefit of getting my knowledge added and updated/ outline a plan


What is the goal – what is your dream exactly? Define it in as much detail as possible.

Make a plan – what do you need to achieve your dream? Break it down to smaller steps, more achievable chunks that can be done in a couple of hours over a couple of days. Add a time limit to each task, i.e it will take 3 hours to get initial research on a subject, 2 hours for writing  draft proposal, 1 hours to email a list of people etc.

If you need more time for a task, then just give it more time. This is just an exercise to get you and your brain to realize that your dream can be achieved.

What temporary changes can you make to your life and how long?
Can you stop watching TV for a while? maybe cut down on the hours you work in the office either to normal hours or ask for a temporary period where you can work less days in the office?
Do you need to browse and spend time on the internet every day? or can you work 2 hours each evening to achieve your dream?

Which days will you spend resting and re-charging? this is important. You don’t want to brun the candle at both ends and also make your dream into a nightmare. Rest and recharge is equally as important as working on achieving your dream.

What can be delegated? and who within your gang of friends can help you? and is there anything you can give in return? can you swap services with each other?

What tools can make your life easier? for example get Evernote on all your devices if you want to have access to your book manuscript from absolutely anywhere? Small, nifty tolls like that can make a big difference.

What do you need to create around the primary dream/subject? a website? marketing? social media profiles?

Can you do this yourself or should you partner up with a friend who shares your vision? it’s easier if you are more then one. You can motivate each other, support each other through the hard times but also share the work a head.

Motivation helpers – get someone to hold you accountable - if you don’t have a partner, can you have regular coffee/lunch dates with a friend, and talk about what you have done, what you will do – that can hold you accountable? and/or are there any conferences or meet-ups anywhere with people who are on the same path as you or what you are trying to do? The subject for the conference/meet-up doesn’t have to exactly match what you are doing. What you want to do is to get inspiration and motivation by observing others doing something they are either passionate about or fulfilling their dreams. And you want to meet and get to know other people sharing similar ideas around life, passions and dreams.


Unsure on where to start? have a look in the project management column to get some ideas on how to break something into smaller parts/phases and manage your time.

If you are looking to go into another direction entirely with your life – I have heard about the “overlapping technique” over at seanwes.com.

 


Fabulous photo credit: Auriane PhotographiesDreams, found on Flickr. She has a Facebook page over here where you can view more of her work.

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How do to a content audit

By October 12, 2014 Digital Marketing Simplified

Paper
A content audit of your website, or any digital touchpoint for that matter, such as a social media, newsletters or similar is a valuable tool to use every six months or so. This to ensure that you are consistent, accurate and formost that the content you have is still relevant for your customer, brand, future vision, business goals and purpose.

Some of the reasons and benefits of a content audit are:
  • A great tool before you decide to remake your website, to pinpoint the scope, needs for new developments etc.
  • Ensure you content is accurate or pages that you can delete.
  • Discover improvements for copy, links and imagery.
  • Discover dead ends or broken links.
  • Discover duplicate content.
  • Ensure that there is someone responsible for the information inside your company (if you are a larger organisation).
  • Regularly updating your website helps with improving search engine rankings, as this is seen an indication of relevancy.

The benefits and reasons to do a content audit are many. Even if you are not looking to invest in a new website. It’s till a relevant tool to use. Either you can perform this exercise yourself, or hire someone to do it, I’ve outlined a swift process and offer a template to download for performing a content audit in the end of article.

Before you start you need to get some basic information mapped out – which is:
  1. Have your target audience/visitor in mind, know them and their needs.
  2. If you have several different types of visitos, e.g you have more then one taget audience, then you need to prioritise them. Make a list with the most important visitor group first.
  3. Specify for each visitor group – what do they need?
  4. Specify for each visitor group – what do you want each target audience/visitor group to do?

Example for a large ecommerce website:

VISITOR GROUP VISITOR GROUP NEEEDS CALL TO ACTION
1. Customers Easy to buy again, reinforce they made the right decision (loyalty), present information relevant to support a purchase, customer support. Buy product
2. Potential new customers Easy to buy, present information relevant to support a purchase, easy to sign-up or create new account on website. Customer support. Buy
3. Potential new employees Communicate the company as a creative, vibrant place to work, easy access to job postings, send CV or similar Apply for open positions
4. Journalists Easy access to relevant information, press kits, press contacts (write bout the company new product releases) Write about the company

 

Then you need to have a clear vision in mind or use your company brand guidelines and communication material and get to grips with how your communication should look in terms of tone of voice, images, links and other resources. This is not a hughe amount of infomation – the person who performs the content audit should be able to answer the questions below.

Per page – on your website, go through it and ask the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of this page?
  2. Who is it for? (visitor group)
  3. Is this page still relevant?
  4. Is the information on this page still relevant? And supports your purpose?
  5. Who is responsible/owns this information within your organisation?
  6. Does the page content support the purpose of the page? (Copy, links, images)
  7. Does the page have a clear call to action or next step? Or is it a dead end?
  8. What action should be taken for this page?

 

Outcome and next steps after a content audit

When you are done, you can now determine what the next steps are. Make an action plan based on your content audit;

  • what do you need to do? what has priority? who is responsible for making it happen?
  • Do you need a budget for new images?
  • Do you need to hire someone to rework the copy? a photographer?
  • Perhaps redo your website altogether?
  • From your content audit you will now be able to make a roadmap for improvements.

 

My advice for getting through a content audit if you do it yourself

  • Divide your website into smaller, logical chunks.
  • Do the content audit in stages.
  • Don’t spend more then 2 hours, each time you work through your website.
  • Take breaks.

 

If you want a head start, I’ve created a template for you to use when making a content audit, which is easy to use, and will get you started in no time. Download the content audit template here.


 

The photograph is taken and owned by: Old One Eye, who has the copyright to this picture. I’m only borrowing it to illustrate my article.

I love to browse FlickR and use images for my articles to help promote photographers around the world. If you do not want your image here, simply contact me and I will remove both image and links.

The featured image icon is made by Milky – Digital innovation from The Noun Project

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Get to grips with modern marketing lingo

By October 5, 2014 Digital Marketing Simplified
modern-marketing-glossary

I’ve created a modern marketing glossary. Currently it covers what I think is a good base for common phrases and acronyms. I’ll add to it as I go along. With more sections such as social media etc. However I think this is a good start and I hope you will find it useful.

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My Opulent Gothenburg to-do list

By September 21, 2014 Travel Journal

I’ve been living 3 years in Gothenburg, Sweden upon writing this. There are actually a few places that are more to my opulent taste then the ordinary barren, Nordic less is more kind of style places that frequent here. I still have a few of the places to tick of from my list below.

So, if you are in Gothenburg or thinking about going here and want a few tips on where to go once you had enough of pinewood chairs and ingenious pale ales, head on over to one of these places for a drink or some relaxation.


1. Champagne at Palace ( )

Palace Göteborg

For address and opening hours, visit Palace website.

2. Tea at Dorsia Hotel (✓)
Dorsia Hotel Goteborg

I’ve actually had both tea in the salon, client luncheons, romantic drinks and mid-time coffee at Dorisa. I love the style and opulence.

For address and opening hours: www.dorsia.se

3. Forssén Öberg – Champagne bar ( )

Champgnebar Gothenburg

For address and opening hours: forssenoberg.com

4. Cocktails at Puta Madre (✓)

Puta Madre Gothenburg

This is a Mexican restaurant and cocktail joint. They have 200 something different tequilas. Not great for vegans, but I only go for the cocktails, the decor, vibe and the fab company I keep. During summers they have a roof terrace, during winter they have a secret bar called Bano in 1920’s art deco style with a rotating cocktail menu.

For address and opening hours: www.putamadre.se

5. Clarion Hotel Post (✓)

Clarion Hotel Post

For address and opening hours: www.nordicchoicehotels.se

6. Skönhetsfabriken Spa ( )

Skonhetsfabriken

For address and opening hours: www.skonhetsfabriken.se

7. Upper House Spa ( )

Upper House Spa

For address and opening hours: upperhouse.se

8. Cristal Bar – First G hotel (✓)

Cristal Bar First G

For address and opening hours: www.firsthotels.com

9. Heaven 23 ( )

Heaven 23

For address and opening hours: heaven23.se

10. Cocktails at Miss Sophie (✓)

 

Miss Sophie Gothenburg

For address and opening hours: www.miss-sophie.se


For image sources: click on each image to visit the source. If you don’t want your photo featured here, please contact me nd I will remove it. The images used here are for illustrating the establishment in my list.

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4 books – 4 new perspectives

By September 11, 2014 Life Through My Eyes
in-my-bookshelf

I recently got myself a selection of new books to read. I’ve devoured every business book by Richard Branson by now, even tried to read a book by Donald Trump, they are all very inspirational, in their own way.

I just feel that there is a perspective lacking. So I’ve stocked up on three books by female business owners or leaders. As a woman myself, I feel it’s important to find other women to learn from. But not only that, there is a different way of thinking, that I see as crucial for the future that I need to get educated on. Hence why I picked up Thrive by Adrianna Huffington for that specific reason.

Each book is in a different format, one I have on my iPad, one hard copy, one paperback and the forth book by Eckhart Tolle, I’m listening to on my way to work each morning. The Eckart Tolle book is to give me something else to relate to, a completely, complex new perspective and thoughts, but which I think is important and somehow jacks into the book by Adrianna Huffington. The Power of Now also adds a much needed balance in this tres business related and heavy booklist.

I CHOOSE THESE BOOKS BECAUSE:

Thrive Adrianna Huffington

I was mesmerised by her story of working herself to beyond exhaustion, waking up on her office floor in a pool of blood. Therefore I picked up this book to hear her story but also what she discovered on her journey back to health and vitality. The book is jam packed with new scientific findings on how our brain works, what our bodies need etc.

Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg

As I understand it (before even reading the book), this is a book for women who aspire to be leaders in their field of passion. To navigate the world of business from a female perspective and reality, unfortunately we live in a world where we need books like this.

Girl Boss – Sophia Amoruso

This is a success story as well as business insights from a hustling outsider or outsiders. Sophia Amoruso, a former dumpster diving crust punk is now kicking som serious ass in the online fashion business. I picked up this book because I want to hear it from someone who is not afraid to be truly herself, as well as curious and super dedicated to what she loves.

The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

I picked up this book because I needed something completely different apart from adding all this business knowledge to my brain. Something maybe a bit outside my comfort zone that will rattle my brain in new ways. Spirit is also important for me. A vital component of transforming knowledge into wisdom – for me.

 

I’ll write in more detail about each book, what I thought, what they gave me, once I’ve finished them.

 

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