Article Highlight: Use “Big Opportunity” statements to inspire your team

Over the years, the “big opportunity teams” I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of – those driven by vision, brand overhauls & complete business model makeovers – have been the hardest work, best experiences and the most fun. At the end of the day, we rallied around the passion for the goal, not the goal itself.

Briefly, here is the idea: a Big Opportunity articulates in language that is analytically accurate and emotionally compelling an opportunity that will move an organization forward in a substantial way. It is that exciting possibility which, if you can capitalize on it, will place you into a prosperous, winning future. It is related to vision and strategy in a very straightforward way: a strategy shows you what you need to get to a vision; a vision shows you what you will be doing if you get to, and are able to capitalize on, a big opportunity. ~Dr. John P. Kotter

 

A written statement of a Big Opportunity can be a very useful tool. It is short, like a vision statement, and unlike a strategy description which is often much longer.

 

Kudos to HBR Dr. John Kotter for a great article, follow the link or click the image above… Forget the Strategy PowerPoint

 

Hope that helps!

Richard

@richardbouchez

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Deadline for 2011 Business Plan Competition for $10,000

FINAL REMINDER – FRIDAY, July 1st, DEADLINE TO ENTER BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION – $10,000 IN PRIZES SHARED BETWEEN TOP 3 SUBMISSIONS. 3 PAGE TEMPLATE DUE FOR ROUND ONE.

(businessplans@cityofchicago.org for help)  Enter our contest using the official Business Plan Entry Template

 For complete information and frequently asked questions

*Information from:

Office of the City Treasurer

Stephanie Neely Treasurer Contact: Public Affairs

(312) 744-8122

**InovediaMarketing.com is proud to be anambassador for the 2010 City of Chicago Small Business Expo. Follow @inovedia on Twitter for updates and information! Please add us to your RSS reader here. >>click here for a tutorial on using RSS.

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Ways to Give Back, Get Help and Get Ahead for Marketing and Sales Job Seekers

Hopefully this impromptu post can help a couple of folks! If you’re a struggling marketing, creative or sales type don’t sit around waiting for your next gig think bigger, now’s the time to start your own project, build your own client list and broaden or hone your experience! Don’t over look any possibilities – take back your career track! So here’s our first guest article with many thanks to Cynopsis.com for letting us republish…

Tap it

Started in 2001, The Taproot Foundation is an organization that uses the pro bono work of marketing and design professionals to help non-profits on a local, state, national and even on a global basis.

Offices are located in NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington DC. Unfortunately, since teams are expected to meet once a month, those who live outside these areas are not viable candidates for Taproot.

The core mission is “to lead, mobilize and engage professionals in pro bono service that drives social change.”

Why is this important to you? Taproot and organizations like it not only provide an invaluable service to non-profits, but also for the media professionals who are currently unemployed.
There is an application that is fairly extensive, so they can place you most appropriately. Taproot is looking for professionals with at least 3-5 years of experience and requires each member to dedicate a minimum of 3-5 hours per week.

Members are placed on a specific project, each project usually lasts 6-8 months but this can vary depending on the pace of the project.

While much of the work can be done at home, members are expected to meet face to face about once a month and everyone must attend an orientation process to become an active pro bono consultant.

Volunteers, (pro bono consultants) should not consider this venture an opportunity to learn new skills, but rather to help the non-profit organization they are assigned. However, there will be many opportunities to network with other professionals within the organization, through both the orientation process and once you become a member, through the Taproot Foundation intranet.

Taproot will consider but cannot promise a particular non-profit nor does it reimburse any cost incurred during the project including gas and mileage for monthly meetings.

The Taproot Foundation offers non-profits the services of sales and marketers that they normally could not afford. The Taproot Foundation receives the benefit of your work, knowledge and experience, and you get to do something useful for your community, fill in gaps in your resume, and enable you to network with other professionals.

All around, it seems like a win win for everyone. To contact The Taproot Foundation please visit www.taprootfoundation.org/.

Nest Issue: The Hiring of Jane Doe (Not her real name)

We are always on the look out for more Experts to advise our readers – if you’re a headhunter, job coach, career advisor, etc., and may be interested in contributing to this edition from time to time, please contact me atjohn@cynopsis.com.

Post by John Cox, Cynopsis Classified Advantage, Cynopsis Media

Good luck!

@richardbouchez

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Richard A. Bouchez | Social Media Specialist | New Media ProductionRichard Bouchez is a certified Inbound Marketing professional specializing in Social Media Marketing & New Media content development. Richard’s web, audio & video work has been honored with Emmy, Promax & CBA awards.

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Free VS Self Hosted Blogs for Business: What should you do?

The follow blog post is a response to Self Hosted Blogs for Business which is paraphrased in the quote below, taken directly from the site. Do you agree? Where is your business blog hosted? Please weigh-in with your thoughts in the comments!

WordPress.com and Blogger Blogs

WordPress.com and Blogger Blogs are hosted and essentially controlled by WordPress and Blogger web sites. They are free to use and very quick to set up, you can be Blogging in minutes. However, from a business perspective that is where the benefits end.

My response

Wow. While there are some very GOOD reasons for businesses to use self hosted blogs here, I strongly disagree with your this stand on using self vs free blogs for business.

Especially considering small to medium sized businesses, your very short list of benefits is not at all where the benefits end. There are many more good reasons for businesses to consider using free community blogs including: cost effectiveness (from so many areas), content testing, free SEO (yes SEO) and free relevant promotion within passionate blogging communities, just to name a few. Big or small, if you don’t need to serve ads and your primary reason for blogging is organic SEO, a free blog may be ideal. A self hosted blog may be overkill.

Design? Yes, self hosted blogs offer more and better options, but most business only need to be sharp, functional and professional looking with basic stats for tweaking content. With a little time and effort… and maybe a little help, coaching and finesse, you can absolutely achieve this via Worpress.com (for example). Your going to need a log more time and resources available to deal with a self hosted blog.

Stats? Yes, there is absolutely better information available on self hosted blogs but that doesn’t mean you need them or you’re going to use them. If you’re driving traffic to your website, in many cases the stats supplied by the free blog combined with your website stats, that are hopefully provided by Google Analytics or better, will suffice.

You CAN move to a self hosted blog later.

Choice between free and self hosted should be based on what’s appropriate for your strategy and not based on bells and whistles.

More often than not, bells and whistles just create more noise.

Thanks,
@richardbouchez

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Richard A. Bouchez | Social Media Specialist | New Media Production Richard Bouchez is a certified Inbound Marketing professional specializing in Social Media Marketing & New Media content development. Richard’s web, audio & video work has been honored with Emmy, Promax & CBA awards.

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The Chicago Small Business Tweet Up! 5/26

Small Business Week In Chicago

City Treasurer Stephanie D. Neely invites you to her Tweet Up for Small Business Week in Chicago.

When:
Wednesday, May 26th at 5:30pm Where:
ING Direct Cafe
21 E. Chestnut St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Workshop:
5:30 – 6:00pm – One of the great secrets to social media marketing
A 60 second video that will change your business.
6:00pm – 6:30pm -Operating lean and efficiently. All you need to change your personal and business finances are “The Plan and $1.”  

Social media is the wave of the future towards helping expand and grow your business.

Get started today by attending this FREE event.

expo logo
Join us at our FREE 9th annual Small Business Expo on Friday, July 16, 2010 at UIC Forum (Halsted & Roosevelt) from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Over 30 workshops, network with other small business owners.

Are you looking to exhibit or sponsor event?

*Information from:

Office of the City Treasurer

Stephanie Neely Treasurer Contact: Public Affairs

(312) 744-8122

**InovediaMarketing.com is proud to be 2009 & 2010 ambassador for the City of Chicago Small Business Expo. Follow @inovedia on Twitter for updates and information and daily Social Media Marketing tips for business!

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Who has the best Elevator Speech in Chicago? Free booth at 2010 Small Business Expo and – $500 cash to winner

*Original communication from Office of the City Treasurer
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Who has the best Elevator Speech in Chicago?

Free booth at 2010 Small Business Expo and – $500 cash to winner

The Chicago City Treasurer’s Office has announced the kick off for the 2010 Elevator Pitch Contest. Two keys to success in business are a great business plan – and a great elevator speech.

What is an elevator speech? A clear and concise summary of: 30 seconds or less – of your business and why your service or product is important.

ENTER the Elevator Pitch Contest now and win $500 cash from Crowdspring and a free exhibitor booth ($350 minimum value) at the City Treasurer’s Small Business Expo on July 16th, 2010. http://www.crowdspring.com/project/2282789_city-of-chicago-elevator-pitch/details/

The Treasurer’s Office will partner with Chicago technology leader crowdSPRING this year and entries will be taken online. 1. Click the City Logo asking for business plans at www.crowdspring.com 2. Create a Username and Password – hit the “Participate Now link” 3. Submit

See the winning 2009 submission– “Chicago Chocolate Tours” at http://chicagocitytreasurer.com/events/elevatorspeechvideo1.htm

Take an elevator ride with City Treasurer Stephanie Neely and see a 45 second explanation of the contest.

http://chicagocitytreasurer.com/events/elevatorspeechvideo2.htm

Treasurer Neely adds, “Our mission is to help Chicago small business and we are proud to add the element of an elevator pitch contest to our existing business plan competition to stress the fundamentals of business success.”

About the City Treasurer’s Small Business Programs – 2-2-1

2-2-1: Two Contests – Two Free Workshop Events – 1 Great Expo

  • Elevator Speech Contest – ongoing
  • The Business Plan Competition —ongoing – $10,000 in prizes
  • Free Business Mentor Workshops —with Chicago business leaders
  • Free Business Plan Workshops (Every Wednesday in March)
  • Small Business Expo 2010, Friday, July 16 at the UIC Forum.

Full details posted on www.chicagocitytreasurer.com

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*Information from:

Office of the City Treasurer

Stephanie Neely Treasurer Contact: Public Affairs

July 02, 2008 (312) 744-8122

**InovediaMarketing.com is proud to be 2009 ambassador for the City of Chicago Small Business Expo. Follow @inovedia on Twitter for updates and information and daily Social Media Marketing tips for business!

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Video Tips: “How to” and Demonstrational Videos

Whether you are going to pick up a camera yourself or put the camera in someone else’s hands, professional or amateur, here are some tips to help you keep your message front and center.

  • Narrow your focus. Don’t talk about all of your services in one video; create many videos that each demonstrates one service. More choices = more inviting.
  • Have a plan! Try your best to script and map out everything. To get a more natural performance in a longer video, I suggest using discussion points instead of cue cards that have the whole script written out word for word. Shorter projects should be memorized whenever possible because it’s both obvious and distracting when someone is reading directly off cue cards.
  • Schedule extra time! You’ll be surprised at how quickly time flies, if you have plenty you won’t have to worry about how many takes… it takes. You may even be able to accommodate new ideas that strike you in the moment. The less rushed, the more natural the performance and the more you have to repeat lines, the more comfortable they’ll be read.
  • Do a trial run! Television shows often shoot pilot episodes, you should too. This will reveal obstacles and give you a good idea of how much time and resources your project will actually take. You may find yourself scaling back or gearing up to ensure success!
  • Keep it simple! Keep the area that will be on camera clutter free, well lit and reasonably quiet if possible. Be sure that everything shown on camera actually needs to be there. Conditions will vary greatly from project to project but think about this… Lighting can take a project from good to great, clutter can kill your message and background sounds can be added later, where adding dialog later may be much more difficult.
  • Shoot tight. Make sure everything you’re showing and demonstrating is clearly visible. If you’re showing me how to roll sushi, tighten in on the working area… in this scenario, if your face is on camera the shot is probably too wide for me to really see the demonstration. Web videos are often small when viewed and because the quality is fairly low you need to make sure viewers can see what you’re showing.
  • Virtually every video camera has an input for headphones. Get an inexpensive pair of “over the ear” headphones. Make sure the videographer is wearing the headphones during the shoot. This is the best way to identify audio problems allowing you to reshoot if need be.
  • Keep segments short! Break up videos into multiple parts making sure individual segments can “stand alone” then also upload the entire video as a single clip (if possible), this will give the user the choice that works best for them. Clearly mark each video with details such as “Large file” or “Part 1, length 3 minutes” so viewers know exactly what to expect.
  • If there is editing involved, keep transitions and other effects to a minimum. A good transition is one you don’t notice.
  • If someone else shoots the video for you, professional or amateur, make sure you will receive all of the footage. Be sure to include this requirement in your upfront negotiations. There may come a time when you need that footage, you could be in a bind if videographer is unavailable.

Remember, video projects can be as complicated as you make them. If you focus on keeping your message clear and concise, you should have a winner every time. This is in no way meant to be a comprehensive list, just general tips on producing better “how to” videos for the web for folks who have little or no experience putting together projects like these. Please share this article by clicking the + button below my name.

-Richard

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