Stephanie’s Blog

Stephanie Barko's Book Promo Blog

Career Strategy -- Three Critical Factors

2016-07-22 13:42:07

With so much career advice on the Internet, it can be difficult to know the best way to plan a career transition and get hired. Regardless of your expertise, cover letter, and résume, there are also factors beyond your control that may determine whether you receive a job interview or offer.
However, there are ways to demonstrate how your skills, knowledge, and experience can lessen the impact of those factors. Three critical factors form the foundation of any successful career strategy: (1) How well your value (the benefits of your expertise, accomplishments) addresses the hiring manager’s issues and needs; (2) The strength of the continuum of belief (those elements of value you provide) established with the hiring manager as you proceed through the hiring process; and (3) Your value proposition, your promise of value to be provided. These three factors together help create and promote your professional brand, which is essential to any career strategy.
Your Value
Communicating your value to a hiring manager is first conveyed in your cover letter. You have less than seven seconds to grab a hiring manager’s attention so you want to get to the point in the first sentence. Hiring managers prefer to read about the future benefits of your expertise, not the features of your past experience. In other words, the tone of your cover letter needs to be, “here’s what I can do for you going forward.” You “sell the sizzle” of your expertise in the cover letter to get the hiring manager to look at your résumé.
Your Continuum of Belief
Becoming the hiring manager’s preferred candidate requires an understanding of an important marketing principle: Value is what connects the person with a need to the person who can fulfill that need. It’s the same whether you are selling cars or your professional expertise. If the person with the need perceives and believes that you will fulfill that need, then you offer real value and can make the sale.
Creating that unique advantage is about demonstrating how you are the best candidate for solving other people’s problems. A career filled with accomplishments helps here. This continuum of belief you are establishing in the hiring manager’s mind is conveyed through your cover letter, résumé, and interview skills.
Your Value Proposition
Your value proposition clearly states (in writing and verbally):
• How your expertise solves problems for the hiring manager and others, such as customers, vendors, clients
• How your expertise benefits others (quantified value, such as revenues generated, costs avoided, percent improvement)
• How your expertise differentiates you from other candidates
A solid value proposition describes how you uniquely create value for clients, companies, and stakeholders. It is the primary reason why a prospective employer or client selects your services over all other competitors. Your value proposition is an elevator pitch that answers the question: “Why should I hire you?” Your professional brand supports the essential message of your value proposition. Bundled together, they remove all others from consideration for the job or contract.
A carefully planned strategy reinforces your unique competitive advantages and reduces the time to the next step of your career. In today’s aggressive job market, you have to ask yourself every day: “What did I do today to create that unique advantage for my career strategy?”

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Women’s Leadership is evident throughout the New Feminine Epoch

2016-07-22 13:37:30

New trend among women makes transformation evident. Hallmarks include emotional intelligence, authenticity, and gender equality.

Two pioneers in women’s leadership may have sparked a new movement by exploring a current trend in women’s development. Using archetypes and transformational psychology, authors Suzanne Anderson, MA and Susan Cannon, PhD take women through a Mysterial sequence of initiation and activation in The Way of
the Mysterial Woman: Upgrading How You Live, Love, and Lead. Based on 15 years of running their university certificate women’s leadership program, the book introduces us to a new level of women’s wisdom, love and power.

What does Mysterial mean?

The term Mysterial is a combination of mystery and medial, two key abilities of an authentic, fully present, integral woman. By mystery, the authors mean the unknown, the ambiguous reality of these uncertain times. By medial they mean a woman who is able to hold a middle ground in complex situations, bridging the self and others, conscious and unconscious, masculine and feminine.

Who are the Mysterial Women?

Mysterials are characterized as women who have upgraded their ‘inner operating systems’ and have the consciousness and capacity to meet the challenges of these times in all aspects of their lives. A Mysterial woman, for example, will make time with a struggling friend even as she puts forth a policy that could change the way health care is funded.

A Mysterial is grounded and confident while willing to be vulnerable and open. She knows that she is enough and is empowered to do what is hers to do. She stands in her own true authority and freely expresses her unique nature, welcoming ambiguity and change as necessary aspects of the creative process. She has a desire to make a difference, is self-aware, and is relaxed in her approach to life.

Examples of emerging Mysterial women include Aung San Suu Kyi, Michelle Obama, Elisabet Sahtouris, Elza Maalouf, Scilla Elworthy, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Marion Woodman, Mona Lisa Schultz, Byron Katie, Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed, and Marianne Williamson.

What is The Way of the Mysterial Woman?

According to the book, a Mysterial way is “a wise, loving, and powerful way of being that arises when our unique Yin and Yang essences are moving freely through body, heart and mind in a creative partnership with the mystery of life.”

What does The Way of the Mysterial Woman call women to do?

The book is an invitation to awaken to a fresh and inspiring promise for womanhood today, and to grow into that promise step by liberating step. It is an invitation to consciously join with like-minded others, and to participate in the earliest stirrings of something profound and historically significant.

It asks us to imagine a future that is radically different from previous models of women’s wholeness. Exercises include exploring one’s signature emotions, clearing clutter, creating an altar, practicing open heartedness, writing morning pages, and being with the mystery.

Purchase is available throug

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Blogging for Authors: Is blogging dead?

2015-03-02 05:00:05

Blogging concept

Big news hit the Internet last week when blogging pioneer Andrew Sullivan of The Dish announced his retirement. In a post for the New York Times, Sullivan stated a desire to return to writing in a “different form”, apparently through essays in which he intends to explore fuller expression of his ideas.

With the advent of social media, what is blogging becoming today? What is its role? Is there a way for blogging to bring balance to our instantaneous world where updates are tweeted every few seconds in 140 characters or less? Is blogging now like NPR is to network TV news?

Reaching Your Audience

When preparing to launch a book, it is important to consider the channels used to connect to an audience. In his social media trends piece last week, Paxton Kelly referred to content marketing, aka blogging, as a means for a writer to be discovered. Blogging is an immediate and effective method to convey information. According to a timeline put together by New York Magazine, blogging first began in 1994 – not too long after the internet was born, but much ahead of the social media curve. Since the day the first post uploaded to WordPress, much has changed in the way blogs are received.

Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report noted that blogging decreased in popularity ten percent in 2014. However, professional marketers still turn to blogging greater than 50 percent of the time as a way to spread the word about their businesses, and self-employed marketers turn to blogging 62 percent of the time.

Blogging Effectively

Your blog is like a public portfolio, so you want to keep it updated with your best and most recent work. Not only does blogging deliver Google page rank and search engine optimization (SEO), it also gives your voice a different way to be heard. Your book brings readers to your blog and your blog subscribers keep you connected with your readers.

Posting once or twice a week with your keywords keeps Google trained to find you, even if your page rank is already high. Frequent posting preserves your connection to your readers and provides them with a sense that they know you.

While it is beneficial to be active on multiple social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, GoodReads & LinkedIn), taking the time to blog and perhaps tie your book to current events, will bring you higher reach. As Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza wrote in a recent article, “As long as people want to read smart and shareable analysis on issues…, I think blogging … will be just fine.”

First published on San Francisco Book Review, After the Manuscript, Feb. 7, 2015


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10 Tips of Book Marketing: Authors Online [video]

2014-10-20 03:00:52

Literary Publicist Stephanie Barko discusses the author’s online presence.

Tip #5: Authors Online

Authors online need to be visible three ways– through their website, blog and social suite.  These three online elements are like a three-legged stool.  If any one leg is missing, the result is a structure that falls down.  When all three elements are present, the stool is stable, sturdy, and balanced.  Good author infrastructure is like a three legged stool with all three legs properly tied in.

The first leg of the stool for authors online is the author website. One way an author needs to appear online is through his or her website.  The most pervasive website software today is WordPress.  Developers all over the world create WordPress themes and plug-ins, many of which are free, so it is a smart idea to begin your site in WordPress.

The second leg of the stool is the author blog. Ideally, the website will have a page on it that formats as a WordPress blog.  There are perhaps just as many blog themes to choose from as website themes.  Think of how many blog posts to show at one time, where you want your social media icons, and how you want the eye to move across the blog.  Make sure you use your keywords to tag your blog posts.  Think about choosing a theme that will allow you to file your posts the way you want.  For instance, you wouldn’t pick a blog that sorts its archives by date if you wanted to file them by topic.

The third leg of the stool is the author’s social networking suite, probably Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, GoodReads, Pinterest and YouTube.  Integration in the social sphere can save you time, so you may want to note that GoodReads integrates with Facebook and LinkedIn with Twitter. Pinterest allows crossposting of pins to Facebook & Twitter.

Authors online do best with a sound infrastructure.  If  you need help creating one, reach out to a book publicist.

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10 Tips of Book Marketing: Author Events [video]

2014-10-14 14:23:38

Literary Publicist, Stephanie Barko, gives you the secret to success for your author events.

Tip #4: Author Events

Unless you are an airline employee like my award-winning memoirist client, Jamie Patterson, you definitely want to put some thought into things before deciding to fly around during a book tour.

The key to getting a healthy turnout at an author event is making sure you are not responsible for attendance.  After your local launch, where all your nearest and dearest will automatically arrive to support you, the events you want to do are those where someone else is gathering your audience for you.

Let’s look at what some of those events might be.

If you have lived in more than one city during your lifetime, it is likely that you have a following remaining in some of those locations.  For instance, one of my best friends in high school, who now lives several thousand miles away, follows me around like a puppy dog on social media.  If I told her I was coming to her town, there is no doubt in my mind that she would move heaven and earth to produce a turnout for me.

If you have far-flung relatives who like you, it is possible that they will not only host an event for you with their friends, but also put you up, possibly reducing your expenses for both lodging and venue.

Book festivals bring your readers to you on a platter.  All you have to do is figure out how you want to meet them–as presenter or salesperson.  Your first choice will be to present, since it’s free. Consider exhibiting when you are not selected as a featured author.

What author events are you planning?  What examples can you provide of an event that came with built-in turnout?

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