Are You Getting Enough Rest to Be Productive?

work and enjoy lifeI chose to take time off over the Memorial Day week-end, and though I had things that needed to be done it was time to take a rest! My husband was celebrating his birthday week, and as a gift I rewarded both of us with a mini in-house vacation!

We decided each day to do fun things we had been putting off doing together, and went out and accomplished them! We visited historic places around our city, spent time at the zoo, walked, ate out at restaurants we had not visited before, and caught up on some reading. We let the normal routines be interrupted and at the end of the 3 days we were renewed, refreshed, and ready to be back in the routine of our life together!

I recently read a blog post by Camilla Hallstrom about 29 Essential Time Management Tips to Optimize Your Work Productivity http://www.99smartideas.com/blog/best-time-management-tips-for-work and found out some interesting information about rest and productivity!

Some of the tips she shared to be most productive are to:
get 6.5-7.5 hours of sleep- she also shares tips on how to sleep to get the most rest
start our work early as our brains are most productive the first 2.5-4 hours after waking up
plan to take at least one day a week to completely rest
eat healthy- fruits and vegetables are best for being more productive and help us to get the rest we need
exercise regularly- planned it will help us be more productive and rested
take a vacation- without working
disconnect from technology at times you are not working
learn to quit multi-tasking
learn to say no

I am sure we have all heard these before; but the key is are you relating them to productivity by staying on purpose and enjoying life?

I want to live an abundant life that I know we can, how about you? As a recovering workaholic, perfectionist, and “queen of multi-tasking” I know when I choose to do some of these tips, I am at my best and in “my zone!”

I plan on making some needed permanent changes in my personal and professional life to rest and enjoy life; and still be productive and have a successful company and meet our business goals!  Want to join me? It is possible!

Have a great restful and productive week!

Sue Falcone

Sue Falcone

 

 

The “Must-Haves” to Be a Professional Speaker in Today’s World!

speaker of todayI am often asked as a booking agency for professional speakers and a speaker myself; what does a speaker need to have in place to be successful? In response I always ask first, “why do you want to be a professional speaker?”

This is the key to any successful career-knowing the “why” you are are doing what you do! What I learned as a graduate of Dale Carnegie: “you have to love what you do, and be excited about it” has been key in making sure my focus is on the why first! Knowing your “why” gives you vision, meaning and purpose to overcome any obstacle!

Once you know your “why,” it only makes sense that you need to have a well thought out written business plan of how you are going to become the best in your field of expertise.  As a speaker, you are starting a small business with you as the service, and then you can create products as add-ons to what you love and do best-speak!  Your plan needs to include: financial, marketing, operations, systems and processes.

Once you know your why and have your business plan in place;  what do you need whether you are marketing yourself, or others are doing some or all of it for you?  Here are the key things I have found in today’s speaking industry are the “must-haves” in getting the bookings you want and need:
Positive Attitude– Keep in mind, “it’s not about you, it’s all about others!”  Don’t let others disappoint or discourage you!
Be Thankful– Be grateful for the opportunities that come your way and share it with those who invite you to speak, and those who listen
Have and Be Fun– No one wants a “lecturer” anymore! You have to engage and interact with your audience!
Bring Great Content– Audiences of today want content they can use, no canned presentations or sales pitches for your company or books
Website–  Current updated one, that is mobile friendly
One-Sheet– Visual marketing tool available electronically and as a handout
Business Cards– Clear concise message
You Tube clip- Visual of you in action
Target Markets Defined– Know to whom you need to spend your time, resources and efforts in marketing yourself
Social Media Strategy– Electronic communication by which you: share, communicate, connect, and engage with your current audiences, event planners, and future audiences. There are many forms such as: Blogs, Vlogs, Videos, On-Line Communities (over 52 Social Media Platforms to choose from) Podcasts, Texting, Newsletters, E-mail Blasts. Depending on your field of expertise you can find out which ones are best for you
Fee Strategy– These can vary and be negotiated, but I love what speaker Shawnee Duperon shares: “if you don’t value your own work, neither will anyone else!” Practice quoting your fee so you can say it without batting an eye! No apologies!
Good Business Practices– Organization, Customer Relationship Management, and Time Management with systems and processes in place.
Be a Life-Long Learner– Know that education is the key to handle the change that is always a part of being a speaker. You never totally arrive where you cannot learn something from someone, and it keeps your message fresh, relevant, and exciting! Audiences are never the same and you can’t expect them to be! Keep learning to handle any situation with ease and confidence!

Sounds like a lot of work?  I assure you it is! Why do you think Public Speaking is the #1 fear of most people? Not only is it just getting in front of people and speaking, it is everything else that plays a part both before and after that makes you valuable and able to help others! It’s what I call the #WOWfactor.

In the May 2015 issue of Real Simple magazine, Christine K. Jahnke, author of “The Well-Spoken Woman,” reveals 5 tips on “How to conquer your fear of public speaking.” In this valuable article she shares: “for every important speech, I believe every minute you speak requires an hour of preparation.”  She notes this may seem a lot, but for most of us who are speakers, and represent speakers, we know this is so true!

Now you know what it takes behind the scenes to be the speaker that everyone will be talking and remembering long after your presentation, and how to make others feel like a “Rock Star” for choosing or referring you to speak!  I wish you well on your journey!

Sue Falcone

Sue Falcone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise Marketing Sources for Your Business Success!

yesmarketingIt is amazing that as advanced as we are here in the United States, our businesses are not doing as well as they could be! Why is that? Leading researchers share that marketing is the key; and business owners do not take full advantage of what is available for them, both FREE and at reasonable fees!

Business owners think in the beginning, and then going forward, that they have to do it all, including marketing!  They attempt to do things they are not skilled at, and end up eventually having no life, and failure becomes a reality. I learned early on that I can’t do everything, but I got into the trap and gave it my best shot! I learned the hard way what every successful business owner knows, you have to be working “on” your business doing the things that you are best at, and you need to outsource many of those “in” business things that others are better at doing than you are!

Marketing was always one of my skill sets, and I was astonished to learn that 55% of businesses still do not have a website! That seems strange since 80% of Americans and a 1/3 of the world population is online. How does a business intend to reach their target markets or grow without an online presence? I have interviewed many consumers and our own clients, and they have shared that they do not consider doing business with a company that does not have a website! “Just sayin!”

Why would a company choose not to have a website? Most studies show they don’t feel they have the “right” skill sets to get one up and running and then maintain it; nor do they feel the fees for websites are worth the time and resources.

I want to share a secret with you! I know the value of a website, and I recently decided I needed to update my website to one where I could maintain it myself.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would seek a TV station to create my “new look!”  After doing my homework and securing many quotes, I was surprised to find that my local TV affiliate offered many marketing services for local businesses besides TV ads, and at a rate I could afford!

Thanks to an outstanding sales representative, Hayley Curry, of ABC45 WXLV (owned by parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group), we will soon launch a new site. It was a joy working with Hayley because she took the time to understand my business, and could translate that to the project manager, John Wertz, and webmaster, Beth Tuzi.  It has been a great experience working with this team. I feel they really take their jobs seriously: one of working for me, and wanting my business to succeed!

Besides having a good website, your marketing should include a great Social Media strategy. LinkedIn studies show that 81% of businesses use some form of Social Media to market. But I wonder how many are using all the capabilities of what Social Media can do for them? I love all aspects of Social Media, which not only includes the sites everyone is tapped into, but also newsletters, email blasts, and written publications, such as this blog!

But studies show most business owners are not tapping into the resources that are available to them, and seeking help in getting the “in” things of Social Media handled on a consistent basis!  I found a great virtual Social Media Guru, Tracy Taylor of TNT Marketing, who helps keep our Social Media sites looking good, and the posting of some things. I still feel my sites needs my “personal touch”, but I have limited time, so together we have a strategy, with less stress and time involved for me! Again I found Hayley and her staff can do some major marketing pieces for my business at an affordable rate, which we will soon be putting into place.  Then I can be even more focused “on” my business!  Keep following us here and see the new changes coming!

Have I taken out a large Small Business Loan to cover what I have shared with you?  I assure you I have not! I “bootstrap” my own business, and we remain debt free in it! I look forward to a great rest of our business year, and now that I have given you some awesome ideas, I would love to hear what you plan on doing with them!

Since many have helped me succeed, I love helping others in turn. To contact Tracy Taylor, email her at tracytaylor5312@gmail.com or call her at (865) 809-5989.  To contact Hayley Curry, email her at hccurry@sbgtv.com or call her at 336-499-1704.  Let them know how you heard about them!

Sue Falcone

Sue Falcone

 

Happy May Day!

murielThis week “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency received the greatest award and gift of a lifetime! I received a poem written by the well-known poet, Muriel Hoff, about our company!

Meet Muriel! She is an awesome lady I met through a community event we hosted.  She is 92 years young, and has published 3 books of poetry, won numerous awards, and is working on her fourth book-perhaps her memoirs! Her life evolved from being a “legal secretary” to Wife, Mom, Grandmother, Leader in her community, and an accomplished writer and poet. She is very active, attends events, and loves to have people all around her.

When I visited with Muriel this week I saw her eyes light up when she said: ” I was thinking of you this week, and the great solutions you are offering with the great talent you represent, and I wrote this for you. It’s not much, but hope it will encourage and keep you going!”

When I looked at the short piece of work she handled to me, I realized the effort and thoughtfulness that had gone into making this for me!  Muriel does not use a computer, she chooses to type on her old Smith-Carona typewriter. But she does have a copier by her typewriter, so she can make copies of her work without having to use carbon paper!

I was honored to receive this poem and thought you might enjoy reading it too!

I can book you a speaker
anytime, anywhere, anyplace.

Our speakers are bright,
they will light up your life.

We can fulfill your every need.
Yes indeed, yes indeed, yes indeed!

I am sure our Talent we represent here at “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency can live up to this poem, and know I will keep going to find those events where they can “light up your life, anytime, anywhere, anyplace!”

Thanks, Muriel Hoff for making everything in my life so worth it!

Sue Falcone
Owner: “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency

It’s Not Enough Just to Be ON Social Media!

businessrelationshipsIn looking back, when Social Media first started becoming the new business and personal  “buzz” I wondered: “what is this really all about? Should I just jump in not knowing why, or should I develop a system and process to make the best use of the options available and optimize the use of my time?”

I’m a “life long learner” so I wanted more information about the why, and the potential benefits for my company, the talent I represent, and my personal life!  I also wanted to know what were all the Social Media options available to me, and were they really “FREE” as everyone was sharing?

I have now come to the conclusion that:
Social Media is here to stay and there are many different forms of it
There is a place and a plan for every business and person to be involved in
This is where our clients, audiences, future business, and friends hang out
With a plan and purpose you can connect with the world 

But the key to making it work for you, says Social Media “Guru” Tracy Taylor of TNT Marketing, http://www.tntmarketing.guru is how you use it! TracyTracy shares: “it is not enough just to be there and share occasionally what you want from others, but it is to daily connect, communicate, share, and engage, with your current and future clients.”  She has facts to back up the benefits and value, and consults with her clients to show them how to have a Social Media strategy that will grow their businesses. Feel you can’t take the time to make it work? Tracy offers additional services of partnering with you to actually do your posting and checking on the progress of the strategy you have chosen.

For me it is connecting with people, so I don’t have to make “cold calls”, or be away networking for long periods of time! I connect with people on Social Media first and then see and listen to what they have to say, and they do the same; so that when I ask if I can contact them it is a natural way of access and a more rewarding conversation. It is not unusual for me to walk into a large event, even if it is not located where my headquarters are, and have people come up to me and say: “glad to meet you, we are connected on Social Media, and I have been wanting to meet with you!” There is no other way I can reach so many with one posting such as I am doing here!

Julie AustinJulie Austin, one of our unique talents at my company, who is an inventor and expert on innovation, shares that “Social Media is key to creating and introducing new products, selling globally, and being there at the right time to enter new markets.” She shares nationally “how to beat your competition through innovation, which starts with great ideas!”  She then shows you how to change the way you do business, save your company money, make your employees happy, and how to think like an innovator every day.

Social Media has become our outlet to the world, whether through your website, blog, or choice of networking sites to best use your time and energy. To be effective at the wonder of it all, you have to be current in your use of it! That means it is “not enough just to be there”, you have to keep wherever you have chosen to be: current, updated, fresh, and remember there are people on the other side looking at who you are and what you share and making the decision to do business, be friends or partner with you!

I value your Social Media connection with us, and check out our Talent here on our current website when you need a Speaker, Presenter, Entertainer, Executive Coach, or Author for your upcoming event!  Keep checking back as we will be launching a new website that you will love as much as we do!

Sue Falcone

Sue Falcone

 

 

 

Is Customer Service a Lost Art?

customerserviceResearch shows that 8 out of 10 Americans prefer to shop online rather than visit a store in person! After last week-end, I can certainly understand why!

I admit I do a lot of my shopping online;  but for some things I just feel the need to see and touch before I make the purchase! My husband has always loved a road trip out of the office when we get the chance, so he was willing to make a 30 minute drive to one of the largest malls in our area! He is a rare breed that likes to see new things and doesn’t mind me looking and being very selective before I make a purchase.

I knew what stores I wanted to visit, so we checked the directory and made sure they were still in the same place; and armed with our list, budget and game plan we began the journey. Carmen had also planned to take me to lunch, so he checked to make sure he had their latest app special on his phone, as this was going to be a rare treat for us!

As we entered the first store, (one of my favorites), I looked to my left and saw a person leaning on the counter at the cash register with his iPhone texting: he didn’t even acknowledge we had entered his space! I said hi and realized he did not plan on responding and walked on to look for the items I was interested in. Now I am not judging, but when I saw the merchandise displayed in such an awful state, I thought maybe we had just missed the sale of the century!

Needless to say I did not find what I was looking for. My husband suggested we ask, and I looked at him and back to the person still texting at the counter, and decided that probably would not gain us any traction in our search, so I proceeded to depart without interrupting the only other person in the store- the one assigned the job that day to serve me.  Again we passed right by and not one word was said, nor did the texting miss a beat!

The next store was a little better! The lady was still at the counter by the cash register but she did greet us and said, “let me know if there is anything I can help you with” and then immediately answered the cell phone in her hand and turned away and started her conversation!

I did find something I needed and wanted at this store, and it was on sale! We both were happy and ready to check out and be on our way! We went back to the same counter, and the lady had a line! Why? She was involved on a call on her cell phone. Others got disrespectful and she got off the phone and handled them just enough to get them on their way without even a thank you. When it was our turn I asked her what her “dream job” would be? She looked at me as the phone started ringing, and replied: “I don’t plan on working, I’m marrying rich!” I wished her well and went on my way thinking: “am I expecting too much of people here?”

Sound like I am making this up? I can assure you it even got worse as we continued our quest! I am glad that the gift of being positive is one of my strengths, so that I could laugh at what we were experiencing and not let anything or anyone spoil our time off together!

Not all was lost as we did manage to find some wonderful items, and also eventually excellent examples of  caring and hard working people that restored my faith that customer service is not totally a lost art! One was at a large well known store and when I looked at her name tag I noticed she was the store manager. She was on the floor herself doing a great job of helping her customers. When we went to checkout with her I asked, “why are you working the register today?” She replied with a smile, “it happens when people scheduled to work aren’t able to come in, and I can’t find replacements.” Sounded like this happens a lot, and I thanked her for the great service, and immediately tweeted it to her company!

Having lunch was our last stop, and it was a wonderful experience. We sat there and discussed how happy we are to have a company where the talent we represent love people, and will do whatever it takes so that their audiences and our clients who hire them receive a “WOW” factor experience.

It brought to mind one of our speakers, Dean Lindsay, who is known as the “Dean of Sales and Service.”  He recently received an endorsement fromdeanlindsayworking
his client on this very topic. This is what they had to say: “we hired Dean to speak to our group about great customer service, but he did more…he SHOWED us exceptional service. Dean spent countless hours understanding our business, our customers and our service mantra. He quickly became a part of our team and was able to communicate our vision to employees around the world. Our company hired a keynote speaker but got a life-long business partner and resource for our team.”

The good news is: help is available for companies and employees that see the need to want to change and give “exceptional” service to their customers! Those are the clients of my company, because I have the talent and the solutions that can make a difference for them for a lifetime!

Now off to do the work I love;  finding clients for the speakers I represent that see the value and urgent need to take action, and are willing to hire the best to help them!

Sue Falcone

Sue Falcone

 

 

 

 

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