Turbo Charge Your Career Development Plan With IMU

Is it that time of year? Is your heart racing at the thought of having your performance evaluation and career development discussion?

Anemic Career Development Plan?

Whatever you call them; employee reviews evaluate our performance on the job. They often determine raises, promotions, and sometimes whether we get to keep our jobs. It’s no surprise that these “report cards” often make us feel uneasy.  Have you become a “human-doing” and neglected to invest in your development plan?

In any learning organization, continuous improvement means growth through learning events and experiences.  It can be applied to individuals and teams.  Cost and time need not be barriers to your continuous learning investment.

If you’re looking to sharpen your content marketing skills, consider Inbound Marketing University (IMU)

IMU is a free (yes, free! management will love you for it) educational program powered by HubSpot, a software company that helps marketers and small businesses grow their business online through inbound marketing.

IMU Online Training and Certification Course for Internet Marketing Professionals

Because IMU courses are self-paced, you can watch the videos whenever your schedule allows and you can download all the materials including videos, handouts and case studies. The sessions are moderated by the who’s who of content marketing. In total, there are 18 modules covering a wide range of topics from blogging basics to SEO tactics, inbound lead nurturing as well as social media for big business; to name only a few. The training curriculum concludes with a certification exam, where one can become an “Inbound Marketing Certified Professional” (providing you score 75% or higher on the online certification exam).

GF101 as in “get-found-101

The first course covers how to blog effectively for business.  It goes over the basics of blog layout and content. Ann Handley (MarketingProfs’ Chief Content Officer) and Mark Collier (Social Media Consultant) moderate this lead off session. The dynamic digital duo offers advice on how to draw in an audience and maintain quality engagement through feedback and interactions.

“Anything in life worth having is worth working for.” Andrew Carnegie

You’ll have to roll up your virtual sleeves to obtain the IMU certification.  Each module includes a homework assignment that helps you put into practice the learning of each session.  Specifically for GF101, you need to write about three best practices that you will adopt into your blogging strategy.

Fortunately for me, I’ve been blogging for a while. CaféLina is my virtual café where you’ll find tips, ideas, best practices, references and discussions on all things marketing, communications, digital, mobile and social. I’m always looking to improve the CaféLina reader experience (it’s a labor of love!)

Specifically, I want to get better in the following areas:

  1. Analytics: better understand the nuances in the data and plan out my editorial calendar accordingly
  2. Engagement: greater comment interaction on each post
  3. BlogRoll: develop an area where readers can easily find and reference resources they value (people, blogs, information)

Follow Lina Arseneault on Twitter

No more Excuses!

If leading edge marketing is your thing, build in a bit of time in your calendar over the course of the next few months and the next thing you know, you’ll obtain one of the industry’s hottest certification.  You’ll even be looking forward to your next performance evaluation and career development discussion

It’s up to us as individuals to make a commitment to our own development.

Considering the explosive evolution of technology and business processes, it’s not difficult to understand why leading organizations strongly encourage employee self-driven quest for knowledge.  These organizations understand that a culture of continuous learning is directly linked to competitiveness and business success. However, a company’s training department is seldom able to provide everything that employees need to be great at their jobs and prepare for the jobs of the future.  It’s up to us as individuals to make a commitment to our own development.

What’s in your development plan? (leave a comment below)

Additional Information:

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Cafélina uses Royalty free images

Frankenspeak Contest with the Content Rules team

This post is in follow-up to: “Are You Preparing an Important Presentation? Be Sure To Avoid Filler Frankenspeak”.

Are you still debating about what your New Year’s resolution should be?  Why not make the leap from marketing-speak to respectable publisher on the web by following the advice in Content Rules which you can win as part of Talance’s Customer Appreciation Month festivities.

You’ll feel so much better once you’ve shed all the overused Frankenspeak words and phrases!

Simply share the words and phrases that you’d like to ban from marketing, sales, corporate communications, business schools, blogs and boardrooms, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Content Rules, by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman. Ann is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and C.C. is the Founder of Digital Dads.

Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

Deadline for entries is Jan. 30, 2012. The Talance team will pick one winner at random from all entries on Jan. 31, 2012 and will notify the winner via e-mail.  For more information, write to info@talance.com.

Feeling ambitious with your resolutions? Are you looking for more advice on writing better? Check out 10 Commandments of Writing for the Web and request the free Talance Perfect Blogging Checklist.

Wishing you all the best for 2012.    Lina

Are You Preparing An Important Presentation? Be Sure To Avoid Filler Frankenspeak

Presentation coaches abound, everyone has a favorite.  Mine is Jerry Weissman, founder of Power Presentations, Ltd.   Without question, I rank my training with Jerry as being my highest ROI career development investment.  I took the Core Program (The Art and Science of Powerful Presentations) which is a comprehensive 3 day format for no more than 4 people.

I value Jerry’s experience and attention to detail for effective communication.  In this Harvard Business Review blog post, Jerry discusses the importance of avoiding filler language in presentations.  Filler words are short phrases or questions that have been used and abused to the point of diminishing your connection with your audience.  Examples include:

  • Does that make sense?
  • Like I said …
  • You know … 

Every time I hear a presenter say “you know …” I can’t help but smile and recall a Golf Channel interview with Michelle Wei.  It was comical how she managed to say “you know …” multiple times in the span of 30 seconds.  My hope for Michelle is that she now has a presentation coach as well as a golf coach.

Follow Lina Arseneault on Twitter.

As for filler words, they are the first cousins of frankenspeakFrankenspeak describes language that doesn’t sound like it was penned by a human.  In their book Content Rules, Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman coined the frankenspeak concept.  Check-out this humorous MarketingProfs clip (2:14) called Frankenspeak Friday.  It manages to say all the words we overuse and that say nothing.

My filler sins include “actually” and “basically”.  As for frankenspeak, I’m guilty of abusing “win-win” and “leverage”.  What filler frankenspeak will you avoid in your next presentation?