Category: Advice

30 Principles to Help You Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie

You’ve probably heard of the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. If you’re building a business, in business, or at a standstill with how to make new things happen for yourself, the principles in this book will help you win friends and influence people.

I’d heard of Carnegie’s book for years before actually getting around to buying it. Then it took me another year or so before I actually read it. I can say with certainty that since I’ve read it, I’m much more confident and aware as I walk through the world and interact with clients, colleagues, and loved ones. Engage with these principles deeply and honestly, and you’ll start to see immediate changes in your own life.

30 Principles to Help You Win Friends and Influence People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.
  4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  5. Smile.
  6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  9. Make the other person feel important–and do it sincerely.
  10. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  11. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
  12. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  13. Begin in a friendly way.
  14. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
  15. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  16. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
  17. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  18. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  19. Appeal to the nobler motives.
  20. Dramatize your ideas.
  21. Throw down a challenge.
  22. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  23. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
  24. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  25. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  26. Let the other person save face.
  27. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
  28. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  29. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  30. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

The Dale Carnegie Way


This list is a sorry substitute for owning and reading the actual book. According to Carnegie’s recommendation, I re-visit this book and it’s principles on a regular basis–probably every month or two. Just to refresh, reset, and remind me how to be my best self. I’ve also been toying with the idea of enrolling in one of his in-depth leadership training courses. At a minimum, I recommend you check the book out from the library, and then when you realize how precious the advice it (or in my case how much I wanted to underline passages and dog-ear the pages), you’ll probably buy it. I recommend that too.

If you’ve already read it, what changes did you notice when you applied the principles? Do you have more friends? Are you more influential?

How To Create a Marketing Campaign

Last week, we talked about freelance money insights from Shell Tain, a Portland-based money coach. The Conclave hosted Shell at our first event for 2015.  We already discussed the genesis of why we wanted Shell Tain to talk to freelance content creators and editors.  But what you may not know is that I started designing the marketing campaign in October 2014, and we had several challenges to overcome. how to create a marketing campaign

The Challenges

1.  The event was not centered on copywriting/editing/content advice, which has been one of CC: PDX’s major value propositions for members and prospects.

2. Shell Tain wanted to specifically talk to Portland copywriters and Conclave members.

3. Talking about money makes people nervous.

4. It was on a Thursday evening during dinnertime.

Our primary target pool was 45 people.  I also designed a complementary Twitter and blog strategy that would, if nothing else, help the Conclave’s visibility in the Portland community.  My main aim was to be visible without spamming people.

I scheduled e-mails to go out two weeks prior to the event, one week prior, and then three days prior.

The Metrics

Here’s our e-mail metrics (averaged for the entire 45-person target pool):

  • First e-mail’s open rate: 83%
  • First e-mail’s click rate: 27%
  • Second e-mail’s open rate: 73%
  • Second e-mail’s click rate: 16%
  • Third e-mail’s open rate: 59%
  • Third e-mail’s click rate: 10%

As for Twitter, I started with tweets two weeks in advance, and then slowly ratcheted them up to once-a-day tweets.

Here’s some analytics from Twitter:

  • First tweet: 355 impressions; 10 engagements
  • Second tweet: 409 impressions; 8 engagements
  • Sixth tweet: 305 impressions; 2 engagements

The Takeaway

How did all of this marketing translate to dollars?  We enjoyed a 20% sales conversion rate. Those who attended said they received a lot of value from the event (I certainly did), which will lead to more people joining the organization. We also received social media support from the venue itself (Forge Portland), and a kind shout-out from Mathys+Potestio.

Our next event, Momentum Drivers for Writers and Artists featuring Lynette Xanders, is currently scheduled for May. We’ve developed a content strategy for this event, and the Conclave in general, that will guide us through the rest of the year.

Interested in learning more about what we do?  Leave a comment below!  We love to share ideas.

Freelance Money Insights From Money Coach Shell Tain

After attending the Conclave’s event with money coach Shell Tain last Thursday at Forge Portland, I’ve compiled some freelance money insights that I wanted to share.

The First Rule About Money


As kids, we learn from our parents that the first rule about money is: you do not talk about money. Consequently, we all have a guarded, childish relationship with money that prevents many (most?) of us from saving, investing wisely, and generally having a healthy relationship with money. Shell said plainly that we all have a 5-year-old running our money. She also said our clients have a 5-year-old running their money too. Understanding that, we freelancers can approach money/contractual conversations with them in a more informed and less stressed manner. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Once you realize you’re dealing with an emotional person (versus a rational one), you’ll be able to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing (potentially giving you a hard time about payment), and you’ll be able to communicate better, more calmly, and more productively with them.

The Land of Enough Versus to the Land of Plenty


A good percentage of people are stuck in Enough Land. Meaning we have what we need to get by and little else. Shell argues that we always have had enough (unless of course you’ve been homeless and literally literally not had enough). Enough Land is the place where we feel comfortable, complacent. Which is too bad because we could be living in the Land of Plenty! A land of milk and honey where we live in abundance and are free from fear. According to Shell, “fear is a distraction. It keeps us from being successful.” Instead of focusing on getting enough, she says, focus on having plenty. You’ll pass the Land of Enough on your way to the Land of Plenty. What’s plenty, you ask? Depends on you. Dream big, she urges.

Channel Cesar Millan with Clients


By understanding clients from a financial perspective, and by channeling Cesar Millan, we can become Client Whisperers. First of all, we know that clients are working with a 5-year-old mentality when it comes to money. Second, we need to manage our clients expectations instead of meeting them. For example, instead of putting “Payment due net 30” on your invoices, add a due date. And if the client is even a day late, call them up and ask with calm assertive energy (this is the Cesar Millan part), “When can I expect payment?” When asked why, Shell said, “If you’re late sending invoices, or you don’t follow-up to enforce them, your clients will assume you don’t care…and then they won’t care either. They’ll send your payment late or not at all.” By managing the clients’ expectations of what it’s like to work with you, you’re setting boundaries and creating a plan to get to the Land of Plenty.


It was a great event, and Shell has already followed-up with me for a free phone consultation. Whether you have a few money questions, or need some serious financial therapy, I highly recommend you call her for a free consultation. After that conversation, you’ll know what you need to do to overcome your discomfort around talking about money, focus on a mentality of plenty versus enough, and be a Client Whisperer when it comes to getting paid.

How to Write a Blog Post for Optimal SEO

When I was working for a tech company a few years ago, I was asked to write weekly blog posts. The client loved the first post I wrote. The third-party marketing expert the client was contracting at the time had some additional feedback about how to write a blog post for optimal SEO (search engine optimization). Here’s what I learned from him.

Where the SEO Should Go


To appease Google Almighty, you must write a post that’s about what you say it’s about, and title it according to the content. (Or write the content according to the title if that’s how you write. Either way is fine, just make sure the title of the post accurately reflects the content and vice versa.) If you do this consistently, Google will remember that you are a faithful follower, and continue to reward you with even higher search rankings.

There are six key areas of a blog post that increase the post’s ability to appear high and often in search results:

  1. Focus Keyword
  2. Pick the main keyphrase that the post is about. Likely it will include some of the exact sequence of words found in the title.

  3. Meta Description
  4. This is the text under the title in a search result. It helps inform the reader about the relevance of this post to what they’re searching for. In order for this to be used effectively, the exact focus keyword/keyphrase you’ve should be in here.

  5. SEO/Blog Post Title
  6. You can completely customize the URL of a blog post. Meaning it should be SEO candy. It should inform the reader exactly what to expect in the blog post. Try to use words and phrases that readers would actually type into a Google search.

  7. Subheadings (H2 tags and H3 tags primarily)
  8. The H2 and H3 tags are your subheading tags within the post. These are excellent sources of SEO. They can include your focus keyphrase or additional information about your topic that lends credibility to your knowledge of the subject (Google loves you), and also helps break up the text and locate the reader within the post. It makes for a much more enjoyable reading experience (readers love you). Here’s more on the differences.

  9. Content of the Post
  10. If the title of the post accurately reflects the content, the exact same sequence of words that appear in the title should also appear in the body of the post. Similar variations of the word sequence should also appear, but not too many. Google has made overloading keywords into a post a punishable offense (i.e. you fall from grace and your blog and website are no longer held in favor).

  11. Image Descriptions/Captions
  12. If you’re inserting an image into a blog post (which is usually always an excellent addition to a post) be sure to add a relevant, keyword-rich description on the backend (for sure) and a relevant, keyword-rich caption on the reader-facing side (if it’s right for the post). These are opportunities to insert evermore keywords into your post, AND if your image doesn’t show up for some reason (weird server stuff, broken link, etc.) at least the description of the image will appear, and your reader will know what it’s supposed to be.

A Blog Post is Not an Article


Blog posts should not be written like articles (i.e. text, text, and more text with no subheadings). The established blogging format is to have multiple headings (H2 or H3) throughout the post–one every two-three paragraphs will do. As mentioned earlier, these headings should contain keywords and sum up the copy that follows (like little newspaper headlines). Google is looking at these for clues as to what the content is about.

How to Know if You’ve Got Good SEO


There are a number of plugins you can install that will support your SEO efforts. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Yoast: a WordPress SEO plugin. It’s what we use to optimize the CC: PDX blog posts and it basically holds your hand through each post: telling you what’s wrong, how you can improve it, and how your posts rate.
To give you an idea of how helpful Yoast (and I’m sure other plugins are great too) is to a blogger, here’s what the backend looks like:

Yoast SEO Manager

Yoast SEO Manager


It puts all the SEO boxes you need to fill in all in one place. It even tells you how well you did using the focus keyword/keyphrase. If you missed something, those green yes’s would be red no’s. This is great because it allows you to tweak your content until you hit the right SEO sweet spot.


Yoast SEO Page Analysis

Yoast SEO Page Analysis


The Page Analysis tab gives you a more detailed description of what you’ve done well in the post and what you could improve upon. This post has more green lights than orange and red. Success! That’s good enough for us. If you’re a perfectionist who needs to hit green on everything every time…Yoast can help you get there.

The Benefits of SEO


All this search engine optimization of your blog posts helps increase the audience who’ll read them. What you want is for Google to know what the post is specifically about, and decide that your post is high quality enough to return it in the results of a visitor’s keyword search.

A few other SEO things I didn’t touch on are the tags and categories you can add to the backend of your posts, and keyword research tools like Google AdWords. Do explore these areas.

A Word About Yoast

yoast-logo
In addition to being an awesome WordPress plugin, Yoast also has a robust blog that goes in depth about each of the areas we discussed above and much much more about SEO. If you’re using WordPress, my best advice is to install Yoast, blog, and learn by experimentation. There’s an art to blogging, but there’s also a science to it. The more you know about both sides of the coin, the more powerful a blogger you’ll be. (And no, I’m not a Yoast affiliate. Just a true believer.)

Is there anything else about blog post SEO that should be included here? SEO hacks, useful articles, tools, or resources?

Untangle Your Freelancing Money Knots

The Copywriter Conclave of Portland will host its first event of 2015 on Thursday, February 5th at Forge Portland.  The event features Shell Tain, a veteran life coach and money knot “untangler.”

Untangle Your Freelancing Money Knots

Shell Tain

The event is designed for Portland freelancers and business owners, helping to untangle the “money knots” we find ourselves in.  Some examples would include what to charge prospects (or even regular clients), how to negotiate more effectively, and how to avoid the feast/famine work cycle.

Below is a brief Q&A with CCPDX President Amber James on why Shell Tain’s event is sponsored by CCPDX.

What led to requesting Shell Tain as the presenter for CCPDX’s first event of 2015?

A while back I asked our members to share ideas for event speakers. Member Sheila Ashdown knew of Shell Tain and recommended her. Considering the work Shell does (helping people live better lives by unpacking and overcoming their hang-ups around money), she’s a perfect speaker for the Conclave and for all the self-employed professionals in Portland.

What “money knots” do you notice freelancers running into?

There are only a few, but they’re biggies: the ability to set competitive rates and stick to them, giving yourself a well-deserved raise, and negotiating contracts with confidence. For the most part, we’ve been trained to be very polite and accommodating, to not fight over money or push back too hard when someone want to pay us less. That’s a bad habit for a self-employed professional because if you don’t get paid, [your business] can’t thrive.

How do you think this event can help the freelance community in Portland?

This event will do two primary things:

1) Give freelancers permission to question their money habits and thoughts around money; and

2) Make them aware of Shell, and the services and advice she has to offer the community. Portland has a wealth of freelance resources and educational professionals ready to assist. Shell is one of them, and I’m extremely excited to learn from her.

 —

Want to meet Shell Tain, The Untangler?

Register here for the event

5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 5th

Free food and libations

Easy access to bike racks and nearby parking lots and garages