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15 May – Take a Photograph of Your Life

Whether you are a professional photographer or you are a keen amateur, do start clicking before 15th May.

15 May marks a global photo project – in a single day, A are going to capture everyday life all over the world.  You log in to join and as far as I can make out, upload your photo there although I think if people upload their photos on their blogs too, it would be wonderful.

It is intended to be a truly democratic project, uniting professional and amateur photographers all over the world as they unite in recording their everyday lives under selected categories at

Prominent leaders all over the world are supporting it, from Mary Robinson to Desmond Tutu, Richard Branson to Jan Eliasson.

The collected images will form a web resource and one thousand images will be selected for a global exhibition and a book.

The three main categories are Home, Work and Connections, you can read more about each one here. Apart from being important for historical and research reasons, it sounds like it will be fun to be a part of it.

My very amateur photo above was taken some time ago of my daughter with some baby chicks.  Come along to the KLCK bloggers network in Carlow on Monday evening if you can – perfect timing as Damien Carroll will be showing us all how to improve our photography for our blogs.

One Day

Millions of Perspectives

Add Yours

Find It Friday: Blog Etiquette Tips

We’re often asked the question – ‘When should I link to other blogs?’ so I decided to do a post on blog etiquette. Many bloggers make mistakes in their early days, and that is easy enough to do particularly if you see inappropriate examples of blog practice elsewhere. However, by paying attention to etiquette on your blog, not only will it be appreciated but you’ll earn kudos points too.

Blog Etiquette Tips

Blog Etiquette

  • Credit your sources: Always link to another blog if you are using their image or using one of their ideas or referring to their content. If you aren’t sure how to link, see our post on How to Hyperlink within a Blog Post. Not only is it good manners but it also protects you against being told off by a photographer or another blogger for ‘stealing’ their content.
  • Relevance: Link to the relevant blog post rather than the blog in general. Remember that blog posts will disappear into the archives so it will be difficult for other readers to find the relevant post. This is particularly important if your blog post was inspired by theirs.
  • Check Guidelines: Many bloggers will post guidelines regarding ‘borrowing’ their images or content so do check them first. If in doubt, always ask.
  • Do not plagarise by copying content from another blog.  If you find something interesting on another blog that you feel you could add your own spin to, then by all means quote or paraphrase the relevant section and include a link and then provide your own opinion for the remainder of the post. By linking to the other blog post, he/she will see the link and may visit your blog.
  • Commenting: When commenting on another blog post, do write a comment that engages with the topic rather than a vague ‘thanks for sharing’ or ‘nice blog post’. By engaging with the topic, you are paying the blogger a compliment.
  • Replying to comments: If someone writes an engaging comment on your blog, it is considered nice to reply (either individually or to a group of commentators depending on how many comments you get).
  • Be respectful to others.  If you are in doubt about posting the content (for example, if you are having a rant about something), then save it in draft and reread the next morning. Remember once you hit ‘publish’, it cannot be retracted.
  • Take your time: If someone leaves a negative or unsavoury comment on your blog, do not reply when you are feeling emotional (hurt or angry) as it may become a huge storm in a teacup.  Respond in a calm controlled manner.  If you wish, you can elect to moderate all comments before they are published which would prevent anyone else seeing a negative comment or you can always delete it. It is your blog 🙂
  • Don’t spam: Do not write a ‘sales-type’ comment on someone else’s blog or include a link to your blog (unless it is really relevant).  If someone wants to find you, the link from your name should work to bring them to your blog.

Blogging is fun and generally, everyone in the blogging community is hugely supportive of each other. Blogging will be all the more enjoyable when you are confident that you have mastered ‘blog tiquette’.

Image created at Quick Meme

If you have any questions or think of any more ‘blog etiquette’ tips, do include them in the comments below.

Why Everyone Should Attend Charisma Bootcamp 2012

Some people would argue that business is tougher than ever before; that sales people are facing more challenges in meeting targets; that some sales people are having to relearn how to make sales having had an easy time of reaching high sales during the Celtic Tiger; others are having to reskill; to prepare for interviews and presentations for the first time in years; prepare for making pitches to customers, editors, bosses, investors; dress well with less take home pay ………the list goes on

Update:  Charisma Bootcamp is now offering tickets for the Saturday and Sunday only so this is perfect if you are working on the Thursday and Friday. The cost for the 2 days is €497 which is reduced to €348 with Skillnets funding if you are eligible. Contact for more details.

Owen Fitzpatrick of Owen Fitzpatrick International is organizing his second Charisma Bootcamp and it is taking place 26th-29th April 2012 in Dublin.  A 4 day conference which incorporates 20 modules from 12 speakers. It is going to have something for everyone from many different walks of life but essentially it  is going to have so much to offer anyone in business.

Owen says: “Charisma is the impression you make in the mind of another person – they then think you are interesting, engaging and worth knowing.” And, as he also says: “you ALWAYS create an impression in people’s mind”, it is a good idea to give them the impression that you are charismatic and encourage them to do business with you. Learn to become more charismatic and you’ll make people want to buy from you more.

As I mentioned previously in a blog post, people buy from people, hence the importance of communicating your personality through your social media tools if you have an online business.  People will buy more from charismatic people.

Personally speaking, I know I have spent more when I have dealt with a salesperson who is charismatic, even down to a guy who sells us trees every now and then. We received a phone call from him 2 weeks ago and 3 hours later he was here with a trailer load of trees. He is aware of our long term plan for our garden and the farm yet although we hadn’t planned on buying a considerable number of trees this year, we took almost everything off his trailer. Why? Because he knew our long term plan, he knew where the trees would look well but essentially because he was charismatic. He made us laugh and made us feel good about the products we were buying as we could visualise how they will look and how we are getting one step closer to our long term plan.

There are twenty modules over the four days but for the purposes of this post, I’m going to concentrate on 5 of them and describe what I think I will get from them:

Owen Fitzpatrick – The Charismatic Edge

Competition is becoming fiercer in all aspects of business so this module will show me how to stand out amongst the competition and highlight my uniqueness. It will also show me how to come across more personally so I am easier to relate to and therefore, the levels of empathy and trustworthiness will be higher.  I’d  also like to be more confident so I can grab and hold people’s attention and this is exactly what this module will teach.

Sonya Lennon – Look Your Best

Sonya is well known from the RTE programme ‘Off the Rails’ and her module will  look at aspects of appearance and dress such as how to create the right first impression, shopping more effectively for your shape and your purse and how you can increase your confidence by dressing appropriately for all business meetings.  As many of you may know, I am also an ‘irish farmerette‘ and often schedule meetings for 10:30 in the morning which gives me time to feed the calves and goats before I go. But I’m often out of the shower and looking through my wardrobe struggling to find something to wear for the meeting.  I know from experience that feeling that I look good helps immensely with my confidence levels when delivering presentations so I am really looking forward to Sonya’s module.

Owen Fitzpatrick – Compelling Storytelling

We have all listened to speakers who keep us spellbound, hanging onto every word. We’ve also all listened to speakers who have bored us to tears – not necessarily because the content was boring but because their delivery was so poor.  I like to think that my delivery style is something in the middle – interesting, appropriate, invigorating but I know it is not spellbinding.  There are a number of modules that deal with public speaking of which this is the first one and I’m looking forward to leaving the Charisma bootcamp with the confidence and know-how to being a much better speaker and presenter.

Sales Charisma – Terry Harmer

I’ve heard Terry Harmer speak before at various Enterprise board events and have always come away feeling inspired and enlightened.  I know one of my weaknesses in sales is in closing the sale and this is only one of the aspects of Terry’s module in learning how to charismatically persuade others in a sales context.

How To Become Funnier – Karl Spain

I think good humour demands not just a good sense of humour but also confidence and great timing.  This module really looks like it will be a good laugh as well as learning how to engage, manage and entertain an audience having hooked them in.

There’s another 15 modules too which all look superb in terms of what they are going to deliver.

The Cost of Charisma:

What is the cost of a bootcamp like this?  If you are an Irish business, you can get 30% off by booking through Skillnets and full details are on the booking page. That means the 4 days will cost €560. Yes, it is a considerable amount of money but if you were to attend any of these workshops on an individual basis or at a day-long workshop, the cost would be considerably more. There are many people flying in from Spain, Japan, Mexico and other countries which is testament to how highly people view this conference. If you have any questions about the conference, check out their FAQ  (which also gives a good indication of the positive tone and atmosphere of the event) or contact Anna. Perhaps the real cost should be what you lose by not doing it?

How do I know it will be so good? I worked with Owen three years ago (or perhaps I should say he worked on me by improving my time management skills amongst other things) and I’ve always been impressed by his levels of professionalism, analysis, integrity, knowledge and compassion.  If he says he has brought together some of the best in the business for his bootcamp, then it is going to be incredible.

4 days, 12 speakers, 20 modules – all adding up to making you a more successful business person.  I’m really looking forward to it.

Social Media Week 13th-17th February

This week is social media week 13th – 17th February across the globe and you can see all the events that are happening across the world over here.

12 cities are taking part with over 1,000 events planned. Unfortunately for us, Dublin isn’t one of them but this post explains how you can take part virtually and the hashtag is #smw12 by the way.

The schedule of events is here and there’s a handy little app that can be downloaded too.

I think we’ll have to get Dublin onto that list of cities for next year! There are a few events happening this week. Tonight is the launch of the Social Media awards 2012 in Dublin, with the case studies from last year’s winners being released.

Our monthly KLCK bloggers meeting is happening tonight too, in Kavanagh’s pub in Portlaoise. Foodie blogger, writer, mum, ex-restauranteur and wife to chef Ron, Mona Wise will be talking about her success with her Wise Words blog and the upcoming launch of her book later in the year.

What is shaping up to look like a very good conference is the Measurement conference this Wednesday, organised by Damien Mulley. All about measuring online sales and much much more, I’d love to be going but have classes booked. Amanda of Spiderworking will be there and the hashtag is #donedealsocial if you would like to follow along on twitter.

With teenagers preferring social media to television (and some 40 somethings too), it is great to see so many events showcasing the best in social media practice and showing us how to do it all even better.

If you know of any other social media events happening this week in Ireland, do post them in the comments below or on our facebook page.

Are You Entering The Entrepreneurial Business Awards?

Have you heard of the Entrepreneurial Business Awards?  Organised locally in Kildare in 2011 to great success, this is the first year that they are nationwide. Businesses of all sizes can enter, you just have to persuade the judges that you are worthy of winning. It has been set up to acknowledge the hard work and persistence of the hundreds and thousands of local business men and women that are running successful businesses in tough economic times.

The process is relatively simple – you apply within your own county using this application form and there is a fee of €50 to enter.  There are 8 categories to choose from and you can select a maximum of two.  You can read more about what each category expects from applicants here. The youtube video is also available to watch. The county winners will go out to compete against other counties ending in a national final in May at a gala dinner.

Apart from the financial rewards of the prize, the winners of each category (at county and at national level) will receive significant press coverage and as I have mentioned in previous posts, even getting to the finals of awards warrants impressive press so it is really worthwhile getting involved and applying.

The closing date is 18th February so don’t delay and get working on that application form 🙂

I have been asked to get involved within the process, from judging at county level to promoting the awards locally so I won’t be applying but I hope you do and wish you the best of luck. Lorna x

Value of Offline & Online Networking – Women in Business

Many business people know there is a value in networking but many of us have either gone to events that we have either only talked to people we know or have come away feeling we haven’t networked efficiently enough.  Others feel too shy to chat to people they don’t know (me included) or we don’t have the time to get to these networking events.

Many business people are now ‘networking online’ using twitter and facebook amongst other social media tools to get to know others.  But an added advantage of online networking is that  if you can meet the people face to face that you first met online, that it is really powerful and effective networking.  You already know you like each other, that you are singing from the same hymn sheet, that you may be able to do business together and once you meet, you can knuckle down and find out more about each other.

After all, if you don’t know the answer to a question, you should be asking somebody who does know and you just might be able to find the answer on an online networking tool such as twitter or at a networking speaker event.

 I attended the launch of the Network of Enterprising Women in Carlow on Wednesday.  The Carlow Enterprise Board had women in business networking meetings over the year but they are going big and bold for 2012, and will be having 9 events throughout the year which business women can attend, in order to learn from the speaker, learn from each other, gain support from each other and network effectively.

I was most impressed by one woman who marched up to three of us, introduced herself, told us about her new business and asked all of us about ours.  I really admired her courage as I’m not sure I could do it and that is where online networking can really help – if you have already arranged to meet someone there (knowing them from twitter or facebook) you are well on your way to being introduced to all their friends and acquaintances too.

If you are a business woman living in or around County Carlow, then I recommend you contact Jacqui McNabb, the network co-ordinator at Carlow Enterprise board (wibnetwork{at} for an application form and all the details. The first meeting of the  new year is being held on 25th January. I think it will be a great initiative.


Review of National Women’s Enterprise Day Conference

I was delighted when I heard the National Women’s Enterprise day conference was being held in Portlaoise as it can be hard to get away to events like these when you have a young family especially when it is over two days.  I was even more excited when I was asked to present as one of the speakers in the social media workshop on the first day.

Damien Mulley was the main speaker and provided plenty of statistics on the use of social media in Ireland and internationally, as well as a handy demonstration of the Google keyword research tool.  I’m often surprised by the number of people who haven’t heard of using this free and useful tool and indeed, I mentioned it in my own talk.  Damien also spoke on how many of the google tools he uses – particularly the convenience of google docs. I guess there wasn’t time to cover Google + but I’d have been interested to hear more on this.

Eimear McCormack from JustEat talked about how they got what is seen as a ‘telephone offline’ business online whereby people can order their takeaway food online and how it is going global.  One of her main recommendations for businesses with a bricks and mortar presence, particularly hotels or eateries, is to register on Foursquare and get people to vie to be the mayor of their destination.

Tara Wilson-Black spoke about why she set up Irish Women in business, a forum for women to network online, to support each other and to find out information from each other. In a print business which can be quite male-dominated, she finds it invaluable being able to network with other women.

KarenO’Sullivan from the Talbot Hotel in Carlow spoke about their experience of using Facebook to promote the hotel and passed on lots of tips.  I spoke about why businesses should blog and how they can do it effectively.  People often wonder what traffic can they expect when they start blogging (and I’ll devote a blog post to this shortly) and I shared the statistics from two very different blogs that I started recently and my different ways of getting traffic to them and what I have discovered.  I hope it was delivered with passion and  enthusiasm and I received some good feedback afterwards so I was delighted with that.

I wasn’t able to stay for the dinner but returned today for the main conference.

There was a total of eight case studies which was great, hearing from female business owners about how they have succeeded in their businesses, how they have managed through the recent downturn and hearing what they feel every business owner needs to succeed. Aisling Hurley of Teamwoodcraft recommended any and every business award that you can as you can then benefit from all the free publicity.  Mary Fitzperald of Woodlands Hotel suggested using social media tools and learning how to use them well as an invaluable resource and Deirdre Murtagh of Causey Farm agreed, having recently increased their facebook fans significantly and seeing an increase in bookings as a result.

Debra Searle’s speech kept the audience spellbound and she received a standing ovation at the end. Her tale of rowing single-handedly across the Atlantic after her husband had to be rescued was told with humour and with pathos. She made the point that if a man had completed what she had done, he wouldn’t have received the same media coverage but yet, the fact that 2 other teams were both reduced to single members and both of those men contacted the rescue team to be collected from the middle of the Atlantic, the reason being they just couldn’t hack it being on their own.  The lasting message that I took from her talk and from the whole conference was you can choose your attitude. Just as she wasn’t necessarily able to prevent sharks swimming around her rowing boat, we can’t do anything about world economics but we can choose the attitude that we face each day with and she claims that is what got her across the Atlantic (that and sheer determination!)

Overall, it was an inspiring couple of days and I left with a bag full of goodies 🙂

I was delighted, by the way, to see a hashtag in use for the conference. If you would like to check out the tweets, just search for #nwed.  It meant that various people in the room could converse, the organisers could get instant feedback and it also meant that I could meet up with a couple of people at lunch that I’d engaged with via twitter over the course of the morning.


National Women’s Enterprise Day conference

I’m giving a short presentation at the National Women’s Enterprise Day Conference in Portlaoise on 16th November.  The conference is ideal for offering support to those either already in business or thinking of starting out, with lots of useful workshops and presentations as well as the chance to network with other women nationally.

My talk is entitled ‘Using Blogs to Promote your Business’.  Most of the afternoon on 16th is devoted to the various social media platforms. Damien Mulley kicks it off with a talk entitled ‘Using the Force of the Web to Develop your Business’, followed by Emer McCormack  of Just Eat ‘the story of us …. bringing offline online’.  I’m in the hot seat next, followed by Karen O’Sullivan of the Talbot Hotel in Carlow on ‘Using Facebook to interact with your customer’ and last but not least is Tara Wilson-Black of Irish Women in Business with a talk entitled ‘Networking Online’.

There is a panel discussion then for the final half hour so if you have any burning questions, you can ask them there.  If you haven’t booked your ticket as yet, you can do so here.  Are you going? Do leave a comment if you are and if I haven’t met you before, I look forward to putting a face to the name.

Lorna 🙂

Looking for new ways to improve your business during the recession?

Toto Productions and RTÉ are searching for businesses to take part in a new show fronted by publisher and entrepreneur Norah Casey.

Are you looking for new ways to improve your business during the recession?

Do you want an insight into how others view your company?

Then we want to hear from you.

We’re looking for business owners who really want to get to the heart of how their business operates. Think of it as installing the most effective and dynamic suggestion-box possible.

Contact Ruth Roden  for more information and to apply.

Would you like to win a new laptop?

Facing winning a brand new Toshiba laptop for your business?

Then come along to the launch of our friends at Kro IT Solutions new e-commerce software and e-commerce website on the 4th October. Even if you don’t win that laptop you are guaranteed a day of learning from leading industry experts such as Spiderworking, AMOSH Designs, Trevor Dunne, and Do My Books  on how to improve your e-commerce and business skills.

You will also have the opportunity to network with other business people like yourself and Kro staff will be on hand all day for free consultations and advice.

And the best part?

It’s FREE!

So what are you waiting for? Check out Kro  for more details on speakers, workshops and how to register.

Lorna will be giving a talk on how to send traffic to your e-commerce site via your blog, and will  be happy to chat with you about your business blogging needs.

See you there!