Announcing… Ignite Your Social Media – A Guide for Professionals

I am really excited to (finally) announce the release of my latest book —  “Ignite Your Social Media — A Guide for Professionals”.

This book has gone from concept to reality over the past year.  Prompted by a friend and colleague because I understood this medium as a communication channel and I was successfully using social media to drive business.  At first my reaction was “I can’t write a book on social media because I’m not a social media expert.”  In response to this I heard from colleagues that they recognized I understood the challenges they face with time, privacy, professional ethics and image.

I then agreed it was a void I had to fill!  Over the past 4 months I have researched, learned and shared information and experiences with social media from a professional’s perspective.

 In typical “Catherine” fashion, “Ignite Your Social Media” is organized for effective use and filled with high-value information and engagingly-shared personal experiences.

This is a book designed to offer a clear business perspective and operational guidelines to what may have seemed daunting (or frivolous) to the business owner/entrepreneur.

In a business climate where “risky is the new safe”, this book will get you past your fears. Well done, Catherine!

                              Bonnie Sainsbury, LeftBrain-Media & social media guru

Here is an excerpt….

Who to connect with?

The purpose of social media is to have ¯followers or ¯connections, people with whom you communicate.  Without followers your communication on social media would be no different than talking to a blank wall.  The goal is to establish two way conversations.

Who you accept in your social network, or who you follow, is voluntary.  Every person on social media is there to connect with others.  Unfortunately, there are also spammers who follow everyone and inundate your ‘inbox’ with useless messages or offer illicit or malicious content. Most social networks have a way to report spammers and/or have a way for you to block them from following you.  You can also stop following them.

Social media is effective only when you grow your list of connections.  When you start out, you can search for friends, colleagues or others you know who are using social media and follow or invite them to connect.  This lets them know you are now part of the community.  Many will follow back or accept your invitation, particularly if they know you.  If they don’t, don’t despair – others will join your community.  Just be patient and keep at it.

For example, during my first five months on Twitter, my list of followers was slow to grow, going from 0 to 70.  It seemed to plateau at that level for awhile and then it began to grow again, increasing to 500 within the year and 1000 within 2 years. Growth is continual.  My Facebook friends increased slowly but steadily, but many were not engaged while others were prolific.  When I began to really use LinkedIn, the number of connections grew steadily, and the sphere of connections also expanded a lot.  I now try and connect on all social media platforms with people I have met so that we can keep connected beyond our face to face meetings.

Social media is not a media.  The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.

David Alston

 Order Your E-book or Print copy TODAY

You Want to Grow but Business is in the Way

Over the past week I have been speaking with several business owners who want to grow their businesses but they don’t know how to take that next step without working more hours or losing money.  In other words, they are facing their own glass ceiling.  This scenario will impact many business owners who want to take business to the next level but don’t want to become more of a slave to their business or just cannot see the path to reach their goals. [Read more…]

Proposals… making them work

Have you been asked to create a proposal and this task stopped you in your tracks?

Are you creating winning proposals?

If not, our up-coming Ignite Leaders Membership Webinar  is for YOU!! 

123RF Stock Photos

Every year I am asked by companies or organizations to submit a proposal for a project or contract.  At first this was a daunting task.  What do I include?  How long should it be?  How do I make my proposal stand out from others yet follow their format?  The questions were never-ending and I was unprepared to construct my proposal quickly when an opportunity arose.

Realizing I was missing the boat, I decided it was time to create a template for myself, with information available at my finger tips which I could use, edit or delete – depending on the proposal.  Creating my own template was a huge time-saver and streamlined the process for me.
Many businesses are required to write very long and lengthy proposals which takes weeks, and many people to write.   In contrast, most small business owners and middle managers are asked to write smaller,  more concise project proposals.  Although smaller and shorter, they are no less important in moving your business or organization forward.

Over the past few years I have assisted clients to create project proposals which created  a successful outcome.  This month, I will share some of these insights with you.

Open to members only, this webinar will:

  • outline the reasons a killer proposal is vital to your business
  • guide you through 5 key sections to include in your proposals and
  • how to make your proposal stand out from the crowd.

Don’t miss out on this and other up-coming webinars for our members. 

Join today as a Charter Member and SAVE!

Annual membership is only$157 (regular $197).



Changing Processes – how to get started

I enjoyed reading this blog entry by Jack Jacoby so thought I’d share it with you. Jack presents some good points for all size organizations. Others would only apply to large organizations but we can all learn from different approaches.

You know something is wrong with the process but you don’t know where to start. Here are some rudimentary steps that will get you going and some cautions and traps to avoid. [Read more…]

Set Goals: Embrace change!

Michael Walsh, Kaizen Consulting Inc ( describes a business as a tool that assists us to achieve something, just like a car or a stapler.  Although more complex, this analagy really resonnated with me.  Michael states “…businesses serve many types of goals — both for the destination as well as the process for getting there.”

Each year, I set goals for myself personally and for my business.  These goals are reviewed frequently – usually every quarter.  I am always amazed by how many people do not set goals and for those who claim to set them do not write them down.   If you do not set goals, how do you know where you are going and how will you know if you get there?

When I set my goals, I write them down in the form of a mind map — a pictoral and word format that helps me keep these goals in mind.  As a visual person, this format works best for me.  You may prefer a list  — there is no wrong way to record your aspirations!

Once you write your goals down, share them — with your employees, your friends, family,  mentors and supporters.  I have learned that people are interested in my goals and more often than not are willing to help me along my path to attaining them.  In turn, I help them too.

What happens when others don’t share your vision or goals?  Sometimes they worry you may not be successful.  Don’t be deterred if they don’t share your goals…keep an open mind, hear their concerns, ask questions to help you understand their perspective.  If necessary, you can make some modifications, or maintain your course.

Sometimes, along the way, a goal not longer fits, or requires some tweeking.  Was the original goal too short-sighted, too lofty, or has your direction changed?  Sometimes external factors have an impact or you learn something new about yourself that warrants the shift.  It’s ok to change goals but make sure the changes are not just “the easy way out”.  Achieving goals takes time and effort, patience, perspective and perserverence.

Goals help you make the changes you want to make.  They are a vital part of strategic planning and business development.  They are not without risk but unless you are willing to stretch outside your own comfort zone  you will be limited in what you can achieve.  When you hit a hurdle, review, ask for help, refocus and keep on moving one foot in front of the other.  Fear of failure will only hold you back.   Make the decision to set your own goals for yourself or consider reviewing your business’s strategic plan and ensure it is relevant and allowing you to move forward to the future you desire.

“Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.” – Anthony Robbins

Dreams…Envision, Plan, Achieve!

Do you have a dream? What have you done to achieve that dream? If you haven’t taken the steps necessary to put it into action, it won’t become a reality.  Since re-launching my business in January, I have been re-evaluating my goals and dreams.  I have always set goals and had dreams that I strive toward.   I have been working through a business building program as part of this personal journey and speaking with other business owners and clients to obtain feedback to assist me in my quest to achieve this revived dream.   What has become clear to me is that the many tips I am hearing are not new to me & many are common sense, but I am now in a place to hear the comments and ideas.  As a result I am able to take action based on the suggestions with more understanding and a clearer vision.   Some of the information I have heard is reminding me of things I need to do (or consider) to grow my business to be even more successful than it has been in the past.

Lester R. Bittel stated in The Nine Master Keys of Management, “Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true”.  Whether your dreams are personal or business-related, I encourage you to take the time to dream, make plans to achieve those dreams, and make the decisions necessary so they are no longer elusive! Keep it simple. Don’t strive for perfection first time around. Be willing to take things one step at a time. Be open to tips and ideas – when you are open to the information its amazing how much you can achieve!

Happy Dreams!

Trying something new

Change… such a simple word for a complex set of events and emotions. Some of us enjoy the adventures that come with change, others want a stable routine and resist the transition (good or bad) while others just ride the wave. How do you accept change?

I realized my passion for assisting others through change about 2 years ago when re-examining my own career path and what I wanted in my future. Since that time I have been involved in leading numerous change initiatives — changes in organizations I was working with, as well as undertaking my own significant changes. Although I enjoy change and the opportunities and variety, there are times it would be nice for some things to remain the same… I have to admit I want stability when I’m in a hurry and do not want to think too hard about what I’m doing.

This is my first entry into the world of blogging — part of my own personal change initiatives. I welcome your thoughts and questions about change, and other topics we will explore in the coming weeks.

Be the change you want to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi

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