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Nora Ephron Remembered: The Weekly Bite™

 

Nora Ephron

By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

Nora Ephron had an uncanny way of answering super serious questions with her trademark humor. People often looked to her to be deep. And sometimes humor  can be discounted as surface or superficial. But it wasn’t in her hands. Like the time she was asked for the best advice to keep love alive and she said, “Separate bathrooms.” I wonder how many marriages have been saved by that wisdom?

I recently heard a 2010 interview with her discussing her work and she said, “We all love to play that game, ‘What is your last meal’, but the truth is, my oldest friend who died, whom I’ve written about, got tongue cancer, and said to me, I’m not even going to be able to have my last meal.’ And the truth is none of us are going to be able to have our last meal because either we’ll be too sick to eat it, or we won’t know it’s our last meal. And we will make the mistake of having had a tuna melt.”

The interviewer asked her, “So is the lesson from that never have a tuna melt?”

“No”, Ephron said. “The lesson is have your last meal this weekend and have it all the time, because you know….” The audience applauded.

She took the banalities that we’ve all heard a thousand times, “Live in the moment” or “Live like today is your last day” and created a story of originality with specific details – her friend with tongue cancer. The tuna melt. This makes her stories come alive and make us think differently.

The next time you’re asked for your advice and are tempted to say, “Don’t give up.” Or, “Do something different.” Or, “Show your vulnerability.” Chuck that. Follow the footsteps of Nora Ephron and think about turning an old truth into a new phrase that will make us laugh and remember. Thanks for the Tuna Melt Nora.


Job Interviewing Skills: No chatting, dissing, or bragging

 

Interview Blunders

By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

Here’s the situation. You’re in an important job interview and your cell phone rings. Do you answer it? You’re asked a question about your former job that you despised, do you diss it? You feel pretty confident about yourself, do you brag? The answer to all three questions regarding job interviewing skills is “no” according to CareerBuilder.com. It might seem obvious how to ace a job interview, but it’s not always so.

Most adults who have a modicum of common sense might not make these mistakes, but for 15-25 year-olds I imagine it’s more the norm. Any one of these things can instantly disqualify you for a job. And inappropriate behavior and dress happen more often than you may think.

After interviewing thousands of people as a consultant for a major corporation for everything from account collections to senior management, I’ve heard a lot of tall tales and even fallen for a few. I’ve been surprised and alarmed by kooky behavior. I’ve fallen in love with candidates and taken an instant dislike to others. The ones I’ve been smitten by follow Oscar Wilde’s advice: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

Beyond that sage advice what I’ve learned is there are certain sound bites, protocols and manners that are essential to move from candidate to employee without being slick or salesy.

The job interviewing skills that will help you most are:

1. Do your homework.
Think of this encounter as meeting your in-laws. You would want to know who loves lemon pie and who hates sports, so you would be adored, wouldn’t you? Same goes. Learn everything you can about the company, the position and the interviewer before you set foot in the potential employer’s office. When the time is right you can ask intelligent questions and know if the salary you’re offered is commensurate with the market.

2. Choose what stories you’ll tell.
Everyone loves stories. Turn the highlights of your accomplishments into stories that have three components: 1) a situation or problem, 2) action, and 3) result. Think of the best success stories to illustrate the skills and talents needed for the particular job for which you’re interviewing. Or, give an example of when you overcame adversity. Both can be potent persuaders. I’ll never forget my interview with the first African American man to be hired at Disneyland. He brought me to tears with his story of transformation from gang member to social worker. When you give colorful, specific details that engage emotions, your interviewer will remember you and your story better. If he needs to convince anyone else you’re right for the job, he’s ready.

3. Prepare for the worst.
When asked the dreaded question “Tell me about yourself” be prepared to take your interviewer through a few choice stories that illustrate skills you’ll need for the specific job you’re applying for. Get a friend or colleague to ask you worst case scenario questions, including illegal ones like, “Have you ever been arrested?” For “What if” questions feel free to clarify them with, “What I think you’re asking me is…” and then launch into one of the stories you’ve prepared that answers the real question.

For questions about your worst qualities like “What is your biggest weakness” use the “kiss, kill, kiss” technique—Start with a positive statement, insert the negative in the middle, and then end with the positive action you took to change the situation for the better. If you know that your potential employer will have questions (like who will take care of your kids if you have to work late) address these concerns before you’re even asked.

4. Prepare for the best.
Skilled interviewers use a technique called “behaviorally based” interviewing which means that past behavior predicts future success. These types of questions focus on how you’ve handled “failures” or difficult situations as well as successes. You’ll be expected to demonstrate or prove your worth through specific examples. They often begin with the line, “Tell me about a time when…” Your examples can come from community work, education, or personal experiences that apply to the type of position you’re interviewing for.

5. Listen for company values & issues.
Read between the lines. Listen, not just to the surface questions, but for problems that you are the solutions to. Also be alert to the underlying values of the company. One of the biggest hidden agendas of an interviewer is that he’s taking your pulse to see if you mesh with the company culture. You’ll want to demonstrate, through the types of examples you choose, that you do.

6. Turn the tables.
Don’t beg, grovel, or otherwise flip up your belly doggie style—even if you’re desperate for a job. Remember that you’re interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Plan your questions to touch on important issues such as company or department morale, your exact job description, pending corporate changes, training programs, industry challenges etc. Follow up on any answers that seem cursory, as they are typically the ones that will lead you to what you really need to know to make the proper decision.

7. Finish with a flourish.
When I was a consultant to a major corporation, I always gave the interviewee a chance to sell herself at the end of the interview by asking: “Is there anything you’d like to add that I haven’t asked you?” The people who could name the problems that their skills and abilities could address impressed me the most—and frequently got the job over someone equally talented, but less savvy.

I’m taking my almost 10 years of interviewing skills in corporate America in a different direction now to help the gum chewing, cell phone answering, boss dissing teens and twenty somethings learn manners and job interviewing skills so they don’t get discounted for their talents and originality.

I want to accomplish 4 things that will help our economy out of the recession and improve the status and well-being of the United States in the global marketplace.

  1. Prepare college students for job interviews after graduation.
  2. Prepare inner city kids (not collegebound) to land a job w/a career path that suits their strengths.
  3. Teach teen, college and young adult entrepreneurs what it takes to get start-up funding from venture capitalists by media training them to say exactly what their audience needs to know.
  4. Teach teen, college and young adult entrepreneurs how to get and keep media attention to be profitable companies, thought leaders in their industry, and recognized, respected and sustainable brands.

Hire Your Next Boss & Get Your Dream Job with this downloadable PDF.

Learn the job interviewing skills you need to pass the job interview and get the job of your dreams right here. (It’s free!)


Exchanging Knives and Guns for Handshakes and Deals: Job Interview Skills are Not for the Timid

 

By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

I’m trying to do something big and I’d like your help.

Here’s the short version of it:

AikidoI have a dream of helping inner city kids get jobs straight out of high school by learning how to spotlight their skills during a job interview. But bigger than that is to give them the means to speak their mind, hold their ground, keep their originality, and get their way — in a peaceful manner. To do that I want to bring sound bite training and Aikido into the schools as part of the curriculum. (Aikido is a Japanese Martial art with the philosophy: The Art of Peace of Harmony, a path to polish the spirit. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”) The practice of these two skills together will enable them to EMBODY their words and deeds.

I want to accomplish 4 things that will help our economy out of the recession and improve the status and well-being of America in the global marketplace.

  1. Prepare college students for job interviews after graduation.
  2. Prepare inner city kids (not collegebound) to land a job w/a career path that suits their strengths.
  3. Teach teen, college and young adult entrepreneurs what it takes to get start-up funding from venture capitalists by media training them to say exactly what their audience needs to know.
  4. Teach teen, college and young adult entrepreneurs how to get and keep media attention to be profitable companies, thought leaders in their industry, and recognized, respected and sustainable brands.

To do this I need funds. So I’ve applied for a grant for $250,000 with Chase Bank and LivingSocial. To qualify for the grant I need 250 votes for my idea.

That’s where you come in.

  1. Go here: https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com
  2. Click the button: Log in and Support
  3. Log in using your Facebook account
  4. Enter the following information: 
    Business name: Harrow Communications
  5. Click on Search
  6. Click on Vote

REQUEST: After you vote would you do a kindness and pass this on via your social networks to your friends, colleagues, and followers who you think would benefit? There is a “Share” button on the missionsmallbusiness.com site that says, “Share vote.”

Here is what you can put:

Susan Harrow wants 2 help inner-city kids & college grads get jobs. Vote 4 her biz: Harrow Communications. I did! http://bit.ly/Nc5jsv

I’d be enormously grateful! Thank you!

Six Most Common Interview Blunders


5 Facebook Posts That Spark Massive Engagement

 

By Guest Blogger Amy Porterfield

One of the questions I get asked all the time is, “How do I create more engagement on my Facebook Page?Creating consistent conversation on your Facebook Page is anything but easy. To help you with this challenge, I’ve compiled a few actual Facebook posts from different Pages that have created genuine engagement. These posts are the real deal.

Each post uses a specific strategy that you can model to start eliciting more engagement on your own Facebook Page.

Below are 5 types of posts that solicit massive engagement. Here’s the great thing. Each of these posts are NOT from big brands like Starbucks and Zappos. I wanted to show you some real people having really cool conversations.

#1: BAKE IN AN EASY CALL TO ACTION

Pat Flynn's easy call to action

Pat Flynn’s easy call to action included with the quote added instant massive engagement to his Facebook Page.

The strategy here is all about asking for the action. A LOT of people post quotes on Facebook, and for the most part, they work great. However, because you see quotes these days in just about every other Facebook post, you’ve got to do something extra to make yours stand out. Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income did just that by not only posting a quote, but he asked his fans to click Like if they like the quote. It’s a simple tweak to the standard “quote post” – but can make a huge difference with your overall engagement. You can also use this strategy when you post tips, ideas and other valuable info on Facebook.

#2: KNOW YOUR “FACEBOOK FAN FUN TRIGGERS”

LittleFriendsPhoto

LittleFriendsPhoto know their audience well (fanatic dog lovers!) and often put a twist on the traditional posts by seeing life through a dog’s eye.

The strategy here is to combine the “fill in the blank” strategy with specific content that’s fun and will grab your fans’ attention. You’ve likely seen Pages do the ”fill in the blank” strategy, in fact I just used this strategy on my Page. And it works great! But to take it one step further (because these days you have to go the extra mile to succeed on Facebook), add a twist to these posts and make them more fun by adding creative images and relating the “fill-in-the-blank” directly to your ideal audience . Knowing your fans’ “fun triggers” gets your posts noticed by the people who matter most – your ideal audience. That’s exactly what LittleFriendsPhoto did above and with 314 Likes and 91 comments, this strategy seems to be working just fine for them!

#3: ASK FOR FEEDBACK ON YOUR PROJECTS

Solicit opinions

Lewis often solicits the opinions and thoughts of his fans as he’s creating new content. That’s why they keep coming back for more!

Teasing content

By teasing his content before it’s out, The Abs Expert is able to create pre-buzz for his upcoming product.

The strategy here is 3-fold. First (and most importantly), when you ask your fans for feedback, you show that you genuinely care what they have to say. (Lewis Howes does this very well.) This helps you create raving fans. Second, fan feedback can be extremely valuable and ensure that you’re on the right track with your projects. And third, when you pull the curtain back a bit and let people know what you’re working on (just as The Abs Expert did above), you create excitement and curiosity around your upcoming projects. This pre-buzz can go a long way when you are ready to launch. Both examples above have done a great job of teasing their content to create excitement around it.

#4: LET YOUR IMAGES DO THE TALKING

Quote in image

A quote is great, but when you add the quote inside an image, your post stands out in the news feed and does not get lost in the sea of posts. Images takes up more real estate in the news feed – giving you the opportunity for more engagement.

Crazy Facebook Photo

How could you NOT stop and check out this crazy photo if it landed in your news feed?

The strategy here is to dominate the news feed. When you can include images that spark engagement (like the MorningCoach.com post above) or post peculiar, fun, or interesting photos (like the 2 dogs in the water), you can instantly stand out amongst all the other posts in your fans’ stream. Facebook posts with photos can get up to 80% MORE ENGAGEMENT than posts without photos. When you have the opportunity to post a great photo, don’t pass it up!

#5: BE A REBEL WITH YOUR PROMOTIONS

Johnny Cupcake is a lifestyle brand

Johnny Cupcake is a lifestyle brand that sells T-shirts, hoodies, and hats. They know what will get their fans to take action and buy. Fun promotions help drive their Facebook engagement up and encourage their fans into the stores.

The strategy here is to try something different with your promotions. The unusual, entertaining and/or untraditional promotions on Facebook tend to get the most attention. Johnny Cupcakes is a perfect example of this. Kisses for savings is not the typical promotion, but with 453+ fans clicking LIKE next to the post, it’s sure to be a hit. And remember, each Like gets them more viral visibility – just what they need to turn their promotion into sales.

To sum it up: When it comes to Facebook engagement, the key is to know your audience and understand what makes them tick. If you know what topics, words and emotions will trigger them to take action, it becomes much easier to craft the perfect post that DEMANDS engagement.

Now it’s your turn: What type of posts get you the most engagement? Share below!

7 Strategies to Profit From Facebook


Click here now to register
for 7 Strategies to Profit From Facebook: How to Use Facebook to Increase Your Authority, Collect Valuable Leads, and Attract More Quality Traffic.

 

 


I Have a Dream – but it was almost ruined

 

By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

Something horrible happened. There was a stipulation in the grant application for Chase/LivingSocial that said you can’t offer a incentive of any kind for voting. I overlooked this in the rules and offered you the special report: Get on the Today Show Tomorrow. A woman wrote me a mean letter accusing me of deliberate dishonesty and turned me in. (More about that later in a blog post).

But, I explained to the Chase/LivingSocial board that it was an honest mistake and I’d be willing to start over with no votes (I was up to 120). Their board said that there was nothing in the rules stating that I couldn’t submit another application and start from scratch. So I did.

But the bad news is…

None of the votes counted. 🙁

The good news is…

I get a second chance.

I know that this is a lot. And I’m asking you to do this for no reward. But if you could vote for me and my big dream I’ll send stars in your direction.

And I want to thank all of you who voted for me. It means the world to me.

Here’s the short version of my big dream:

The Art of Peace of HarmonyI have a dream of helping inner city kids get jobs straight out of high school by learning how to spotlight their skills during a job interview. But bigger than that is to give them the means to speak their mind, hold their ground, keep their originality, and get their way — in a peaceful manner. To do that I want to bring sound bite training and Aikido into the schools as part of the curriculum. (Aikido is a Japanese Martial art with the philosophy: The Art of Peace of Harmony, a path to polish the spirit. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”) The practice of these two skills together will enable them to EMBODY their words and deeds.

To do that I need funds. So I’ve applied for a grant with Chase Bank and LivingSocial. To qualify for the grant I need 250 votes for my idea.

That’s where you come in.

  1. Chase and LivingSocial  Mission Small BusinessGo here: https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com/
  2. Click the button: Log in and Support
  3. Log in using your Facebook account
  4. Enter the following information:
    Business name: Harrow Communications
  5. Click on Search
  6. Click on Vote
  7. REQUEST: After you vote would you do a kindness and pass this on via your social networks to your friends, colleagues, and followers who you think would benefit? There is a “Share” button on the missionsmallbusiness.com site that says, “Share vote.”
    Here is what you can put:
    Susan Harrow wants 2 help inner-city kids & college grads get jobs. Vote 4 her biz: Harrow Communications. I did! http://bit.ly/Nc5jsvI’d be enormously grateful!

And thank you. (Know that I appreciate you already even if you do nothing!).

May YOUR big dream come true. I support you in inviting it to happen.

Lotsa laughter and good living,

Susan



Women Entrepreneurs Growing Fast In Business and Getting Degrees

by Harrison Kratz and MBA@UNC Blog

Women today are making professional strides at an unprecedented level. Women are starting businesses at 1.5 times the national average, a 20 percent increase over the last decade. Women are also pursuing higher education in record numbers; women now hold more bachelors and graduate degrees than men.

There is still a disparity in earnings and leadership titles across genders, but there are more outspoken advocates of professional women than ever before. Notable leaders like Arianna Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg, Rachel Sklar, and Sarah Blakely help fuel this conversation in the media and champion for the advancement of women everywhere.

(more…)


Blogs Trump Facebook for Trust and Spending

 

Purchases by women online

by Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Marketing Strategist

Today BlogHer Inc published their fifth annual study of women and social media, conducted with Vision Critical, a market research and analysis firm.

The results of this study give marketers who are looking to connect with women audiences online with insights into the opinions of women who use blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social tools.

“This survey of 2,000 U.S. women online makes a clear case — using purchase behavior and a “trust test” pitting a blogger against Facebook updates and ads featuring a celebrity — that blogs are the single best use of marketing and advertising dollars by brands that want to affect purchases by women online.”

So pay attention to where you are putting your marketing efforts if you want to reach women.


Turning Facebook Fan Pages into an Income Generator

Susan's kittensSomething crazy happened this weekend. My sweetie and I got two new kittens. We had decided to wait until the spring to choose kittens from the pound, but when a woman aikidoka at my dojo told me about two strays that showed up on a friend of her’s doorstep I knew we had to see them — even though they weren’t really even kittens. She told me that they were the most loving cats she had ever seen, affectionate to each other and to strangers.

It was pouring rain when we arrived in Petaluma where she has a household that includes llamas, 7 cats, a dog and a chicken. Do you know when something just feels right and you have to take action ASAP? I had a sense that these cats were meant to be ours. I call this following your gypsy spirit and in this instance I had to follow mine.. But, this doesn’t mean that doing so will be snag free.

In this case the girl torbe (a calico and tabby combo) we named Moonbeam, was in heat and the gray tabby, Lucky , was taking full advantage. We scheduled a quick trip to the vet to stop the howling and accompanying activities that lasted all night long without a break and continued during the day as well. Overnight our carefully constructed serene lives were gone. Things have calmed down a bit, but having 10 month old kitties is a handful.

Wait, did I mention that Lucky chewed through his box on the way home from Petaluma? It was like a scene from The Shining with Jack Nicholson. See him here. First gigantic paws with long nails reached out of several holes to snag my coat. I had the box on my lap so I could make soothing sounds when I saw giant fangs chewing through the cardboard close to my head. Nothing could calm him down. A few minutes later he had his entire head poked through a huge hole.

We had to pull over get him out of the box and onto my lap to pacify him. As you can see by this photo harmony has been restored to the household. They are great examples of loving spirit in how they respond to each other and to us. I’ve already found their good natures inspiring. He’s funny, smart, dominant and overbearing. She takes him in stride. When he pushes her out of the food bowl she either goes to another bowl, or waits another second and edges her way back into her bowl. There is no tiffing. Just easy re-organization. Noted.

This same kind of gypsy spirit, or instant knowing that happened with the cats, happened too when I talked to Jason Deitch, the founder of FanPageGenerator. I had a good feeling about Jason right away. I agree with poet Robert Frost who says, “Always fall in with what you’re asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever’s going. Not against: with.”

 Going “with” was easy with Jason. He contacted me to see if I wanted to team with him on his new creation. He clearly laid out in an email what he had and angled it to directly to my need. Plus, he has a confident, calm manner that made me trust him instantly. He explained how creating automated fan pages on Facebook worked and what it could do for my business and the businesses of my ezine subscribers.

Then he generously offered to create some for me. As you know I only endorse products and people that I believe in and that have proved their worth and effectiveness. I’m really new to this fan page stuff and am eager to learn. There has been much written about monetizing social networks but few case studies that are easy to replicate for a small business.

You can visit my first fan page created by Jason’s team here, and I be delighted if you were to become a fan.

I think that FanPageGenerator is a revolutionary product that can help all of us sincerely engage with people on Facebook while growing our businesses. Notice what resonates with you and follow your instincts. We call have keen internal sensors if we choose to tune into them and pay attention to their messages.


Business Viralocity: Facebook Fan Pages

Susan's Get Booked on Oprah Facebook Fan PageTired of having to read about who just walked their dog, sent a gizmo to a friend, or raced to the bathroom? Do you want instead to focus on marketing your business, book, product, service or cause to the people who are truly prospects?

You may not think so, but Facebook is the answer. There is a critical gap in most people’s Facebook strategies — if they have a strategy at all. For entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, coaches and consultants who want to use Facebook for business, it’s not well known that fan pages can be automated and set up to be income generators. Here’s how.  (more…)