Should I feel offended, amused or guilty?

Should I feel offended amused or guilty POST
This week I got invited to an event for women over 50. Specifically, the website for this event states:

2013 is going to be your year for change!! Discover how women over 50 escape the rat race and turn dreams into new careers and business!

At first, I wasn't sure whether to feel: (a) offended that the person sending me the invitation (a woman) thought I looked over 50. I'm about a decade off. (b) bemused that the event organiser thought it would be a good idea to use this language (c) totally guilty that I felt (a). After all, what's wrong with being over 50 right?

It's kind of like going up to a woman who is not pregnant, glancing at her stomach and then asking her: "How exciting! When are you due?"

The five steps to successful content marketing

The five steps to successful content marketing POST
I'm a big fan of content marketing. In fact, it's been the cornerstone of how I've built my business. So it was great to be able to attend the Content Marketing World Conference in Sydney this week. This inspired this week's Enterprise post.

One more thing. It's just one more item for your "to do" list. But it's one you have to pay attention to. As a small business owner, it's a list that's already full of tasks like sales, recruitment, staff management, operations, customer service, administration, you name it. But now there's another essential item if you want to succeed and grow: content marketing.

At least that's the concept that hundreds of keen delegates embraced at this week's Content Marketing World in Sydney (4–6 March, 2013). A conference for … you guessed it … those interested in "content marketing", it's an initiative of the US-based Content Marketing Institute. [Aside: I go to a lot of business conferences and this is definitely one of the better ones on the calendar.]

For those of you who are still wondering "content what?", let me explain. According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI) founder Joe Pulizzi: “Content Marketing is owning, as opposed to renting media. It’s a marketing process to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating content in order to change or enhance consumer behaviour.”

Where in the world is Valerie Khoo?

acagamic (Lennart Nacke) via photopin cc
When I was little, I used to play a game called "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?" (Did anyone else used to play this?). You had to follow Carmen around the world as she pulled off clever heists and other crimes in exotic locations. It was a great way to learn geography!

These days, I feel a little bit like Carmen (minus the crime). I've been away from Sydney so much that it's a case of "Where in the world is Valerie Khoo?"

Regular readers will know that I've been doing a lot of work in Melbourne as the Australian Writers' Centre has launched there. I've been loving every minute of it and I can't wait to meet everyone who has enrolled in our upcoming February courses.

So here's a peek into what's coming up. If you're going to the same events, come say HI and connect.

MELBOURNE WellbeingWeb event - Sunday 3 February

WelbeingWeb is the brainchild of the talented Rhiannon Colarossi. When I first met Rhiannon, her business hadn't even started yet. So I'm thrilled that her passion for empowering women has become a reality. One of her first events is detailed below and features bespoke stationery creator Christina Re. (And you know that I'm a sucker for stationery!)

Are you getting the basics right?

Are you getting the basics right POST
This week I had to drive to a restaurant I've never been to before. When I'm driving to unfamiliar places I use my car's GPS system. So I looked up the address of the restaurant. Its website simply stated the street name but no street number.

I don't know about your car's GPS system, but mine insists on me typing in a street number before it will even allow me to progress to typing in the street name. In the past, when I haven't known the street number, I've typed in a random number in the hope that I would spot my destination (if it's a store, cafe, or place with signage) by driving up and down the street. Tip: this is not productive. Especially if you're on something like Epping Road or Pacific Highway.

Are you a champion storyteller?

Are you a champion storyteller FEATURE
Some people are nuts. Or short-sighted. Or something. And they make me wonder why they make it so hard for themselves in business. I just want to take the owners by the shoulders and shake them to say: “Can’t you see what you’re doing to yourself?”

The hidden opportunities that are right under your nose – how to boost your business immediately

Boost your business April 2012
There are all manner of tactics you can use to create more interest in your business. Here are a couple of ideas that were simple and cost effective to implement and made a real impact in my business.

BNET video “The Venture”: Daily Deals

Daily deals feature
Buying sites like Groupon and Cudo have revolutionised the way many businesses market themselves to potential customers. But are they as effective as they claim and will they benefit your business in the long term?

It’s the little things that make a big difference

It’s the little things that make a big difference
Many people look in vain for a "silver bullet" to lift their business to the next level but the solution may be a series of little things that together can make a big difference.

How to build your personal brand

Personal brand
Ten years ago, the term “personal brand” wasn’t even part of our vernacular. But as we increasingly continue to live our lives online, our personal brand is becoming ever more important.

What does your “About us” page really say about you?

“About us”. Your company profile. It’s one of the most clicked pages on your website, but how much time have you spent crafting the words on the page? Similarly, when you ask your assistant to quickly email your bio to the organiser of the next event you are speaking at, have you really considered whether it’s suitable for that audience?