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How To Write For Any Successful Blog And Get Thousands Of Shares

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It’s very easy to think that writing for a successful blog is easy and getting people to share your content is just a natural by-product of this – it’s not. In this post, I want to address the number one question I get asked, “how do I write for a successful blog and get thousands of shares?”

There is no great secret to getting involved with any successful website or blog, but there are a few things you should know before which I will address for you in this article. Before you begin pursuing this goal, you need to make sure you clearly know why you want to be a blogger first.

If you don’t address your why, then you will find that you won’t be able to achieve any of what I am going to talk about.

My journey to writing for a successful blog started when I realised that I wanted to inspire people through what I was passionate about. Initially, I had no idea how to do this. Through a series of thinking sessions, I realised that the most important thing for me was to be involved in a website that stood for exactly what I believed in.

Once I understood this concept, writing for Addicted2Success was a no-brainer, and I didn’t have to think twice about any other website. What this site stands for is my life in three words – Addicted 2 Success. I am obsessed with what it takes to be successful and ultimately how to find my purpose and fulfill it.

So I am going to share with you the ten things I did to write for a successful blog and ultimately achieve thousands of shares.

1. Find your tribe

Before beginning to write for any blog you need to find your tribe and niche first. With a bit of luck, you will already be part of some sort of online tribe through your hobby or passion. These tribes are the best one’s to write for.

At this stage, forget about whether the niche you want to write for is popular or not. You can make any niche popular, and this had been proven online so many times over the years. I saw one tribe of people the other day that is obsessed with chickens, and they have thousands of people engaged – anything is possible.

2. Publish some posts on a lesser-known site first

Once you work out which site you want to write for, I suggest writing for some lesser-known sites within the same niche first. Many of the popular sites I have found will want to know how big your current audience is and see some posts you have done before.

If you can’t demonstrate these two things, then the popular sites are unlikely to let you write for them. In my own case I was able to leap frog this requirement but generally speaking, you should start this way.

3. Nail your personal story (you will be repeating it a lot)

As you go through your journey of blogging, you will be required in your writing (and interviews later on) to be able to articulate your personal story and explain why you do what you do.

“Everything you write will probably have some element of your personal story, so it’s important to agree on what that story is”

My story is all about entrepreneurship and personal development, and there are a thousand different ways to communicate these two topics which are closely related to each other. The other crucial reason to know your story is to be able to tell people what you stand for and give them the opportunity to read someone else’s work if what you are about is not for them.

I found that as my writing has progressed, I have been asked more and more to attend events, do interviews, and write for other websites. When you do these things a lot you are constantly in front of new audiences who don’t know your story.

There is also an expectation that when you get to this level later on, that you know your personal story back to front and are able to make it compelling and engaging for the audience. So the bottom line is agree on how you want to say your story and then write it down.

4. Write professionally

There is nothing worse than when an editor of a blog get’s a proposed article, and it doesn’t have proper English or has loads of spelling and grammar errors. Writing professionally is extremely important, and if your skills are not up to scratch that’s okay, you can always take some professional writing classes to get up to speed.

One reason that grammar and spelling are so important, besides having people read your posts, is because “Search Engine Optimisation” won’t work well if the writing is full of mistakes. I won’t go too much into SEO but know that editors of blogs will care a lot about this.

One way I have improved my writing has been through a tool called Grammarly. It corrects grammar and spelling and does the best job that I have seen of any other software.

If you are like me, and you like to write longer posts, then make sure you edit your writing at the end so you can remove unnecessary things that you may have written, which are not crucial to the point of your article. The last thing to be conscious of is rambling. Try as much as possible not to ramble on.

5. Have a niche with something worth saying

Editors of blogs are looking for people that have something worth saying who represent relevant niches to their site. For example, there are loads of people that write about entrepreneurship. If you are going to cover this particular topic, then you need to have something to say that may not have been said very much.

The way I do this is through my own entrepreneur story. My story is individual and hopefully captivating. It’s all about how I started a business and why I walked away from everything.

My take on entrepreneurship is heavily fused with personal development, which is very different to a lot of other bloggers.

“Think deeply about what slant you can bring to a particular niche and then communicate that as part of your proposals to editors of blogs”

6. Contact the right person from your dream website

Once you have built up some content on a blog and you feel you are ready for the big league, then its time to reach out to one or two editors from a site you dream of blogging for. The two best ways to contact an editor are through LinkedIn or using the email address provided on the blog.

The secret here is that all blogs have a contact form, but for post submissions, there is usually a different email address. Look carefully on the blog and you will find the “contributor submissions” email address. Next, follow these guidelines when reaching out:

– Write a compelling headline as the subject of your message
– Keep it brief and ideally to know more than three short paragraphs
– Mention that you are a regular reader of the site
– Link to two posts that you have done that had the most people share it
– Try to give a rough idea as to your current blogging audience
– Suggest three topics that you can write on which are categories already on the blog

If you try all of this, and you get no reply there is one other step you can take; ask another author from the same blog for advice on how to get featured on the site.

“Most bloggers are more than happy to share how they were able to become an author for a particular blog”

7. Be like a hungry dog and never give up

The more influential the blog is that you want to write for, the harder it is to get the opportunity to be featured on the site with your writing. To inspire you, I want to share the story of Addicted2Success’s very own Carla Schesser.

Carla’s dream was to write for The Huffington Post. After weeks of emailing different contacts and trying heaps of different avenues to get her foot in the door, she finally persisted through what seemed like the impossible.

It was at this point that Carla boldly emailed the Co-Founder of the Huffington Post Arianna Huffington and asked her directly if they would feature her article. Not long after, Arinna replied and said she would love to have Carla’s post on the site.

You have to be hungry like a dog, be prepared to be bold, and to try every angle. I promise you, if you try hard enough you will be able to write for any blog you can think of. Once you get featured on one major blog, it’s quite easy to get on almost any other blog that you want.

8. Don’t be a blogging prostitute

The temptation with blogging is to prostitute yourself out to every blog who will have you write for them. This strategy, in my humble opinion, doesn’t work. When your work is everywhere, you confuse your audience. People generally expect you to be known for your work on one particular site.

This doesn’t mean you can’t write for other blogs; it just means that you need to do the majority of your writing in one or two places. The downside of being a blogging prostitute is that you can upset the owners of the blog too.

When they know that you are willing to blog for anyone and that you have no loyalty what so ever, your value quickly diminishes. Again, to reiterate, I am not saying you can only ever blog for one site, just think carefully about how you go about it and try and build some loyalty with a couple of blogs.

9. Show some loyalty mate

There is an unofficial bloggers etiquette that I urge you to consider. It’s not mandatory but will help your success skyrocket if you follow it. The advice is simple; only post an article on one site. I see many bloggers taking an article and then posting it on loads of different blogs.

This is something that upsets administrators and editors of blogs, who like articles that are written for their site, to be exclusive.

10. Sit back and be patient

Building up a repertoire of blogs posts takes time. It also takes time to hone in on your writing and find a way to deliver your message uniquely. Try to write in a way that is engaging, humorous, and entertaining for the reader.

Don’t just use generic sentences with boring facts. Add some personality, push the boundaries, and don’t be afraid to say something controversial once in a while (I know I do all the time).

Success with anything in life including blogging takes time. Don’t be surprised if you are writing for a minimum of a year with no one sharing or liking your posts. Joshua Becker told me a while back that he wrote about minimalism for years before he became a world-famous blogger and author of many books.

***Final Thought***

Blogging is one of the most rewarding things I have discovered, and it is strangely therapeutic to share your thoughts with the world and inspire others at the same time. Anyone can do it, and I encourage you to have a go and see if it’s something you like.

What do you think about blogging? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook. 

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Chris Targett

    Jul 9, 2016 at 10:13 am

    “Be hungry like a dog and never give up” This one hit me whilst reading this. I know this can be applied in all areas of entrepreneurial ventures. I do like the example you featured in here about the Huffington Post, it shows people what can be done.

    Thanks for the article 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 9, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Not a problem Chris and thanks for reading!

  2. Vishnu

    Jun 19, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Excellent tips and advice here, Tim. Love all the tips especially encourage us to share those personal stories and to never give up. I would say another tips is to make sure you’re writing to the people on that blog’s audience. The more you write for them and to them, the more you post will resonate. So customize your post for that audience. Thanks for these reminders.

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 19, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Vishnu thanks for reading and I agree with your point. The audience should always be front and centre for any blogger.

  3. Shawn

    Jun 18, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Thank you for sharing Tim.
    Is it really a good idea not to guest blog for every other blogs and choose to focus on a few?

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 18, 2016 at 1:45 am

      Shawn I believe you should have one main site where you blog and only guest blog here and there. It’s just my opinion but I think being everywhere is confusing to your audience and you won’t make enough of a deep impact on one site. Keen to know what you think.

  4. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jun 16, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Tim, you always have the best blog topics. I love blogging just as much as I loved your post. This is good information for any novist blogger or individual seeking to enhance their blogging strategy. Because I am a business writer, my biggest challenge was learning how to add personality and push the boundaries. Each no I received in the beginning of my journey helped me to strengthen my writing, connect with my target audience more, and share more of who I was in order to position myself for the “Yes” that was coming my way. Thank you for sharing!

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 18, 2016 at 1:46 am

      Charlene thank you so much for always being generous with your feedback I also love reading your stuff. Personality with blogging is everything. If you just write facts no one will listen because there is nothing unique about that. You’re on the right track Charlene so I wouldn’t worry too much.

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Success Advice

10 Simple Yet Effective Ways to Bring Out the Successful YouTuber in You

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YouTube is a social media platform that has turned many a normal person into a celebrity. With over 1.9 billion logged-in users visiting YouTube every month, it is a hugely popular platform that is being actively used by people who are leveraging its reach and popularity for reputation building, increasing visibility, creating and driving brand reach and last but not the least, earning money.

We keep hearing success stories of YouTube influencers who were nobodies when they started out and today run some of the most popular channels on YouTube and are considered reputed influencers in their niche.

There is absolutely no doubt that if done right, a presence on YouTube can be a massive boost for your brand (if you are a business) and ensure visibility of stratospheric proportions (if you are an individual).

But, at the end of it all, most people want to get onboard YouTube for the money. If your channel is popular enough, it can be a regular source of income for you. So, how do you become a successful YouTuber and establish a popular YouTube channel?

Here are ten great tips to help you on your way:

1. Identify your YouTube Goals

What do you want to achieve out of YouTube? Straight off the block, this is the question you must answer. YouTube can help build your brand, both business and personal, if that’s your goal. It will help improve your reputation and differentiate yourself from the competition. It could also become a revenue generation medium for you.

There are many reasons you might want to start a YouTube channel, and you need to zero in on the right one. Identifying your core goal or set of goals will help you plan your YouTube journey effectively.

2. Identify the Right Niche for Your Channel

Making videos is a resource-intensive activity. It also needs a rare degree of passion to make videos because you are going to put a truckload of effort into it. So, make sure to zero in on the right niche for your channel, meaning the kind of video content you are going to post. If you are an individual, the content must align with your interest, preferences, skill sets and knowledge.

If you are a business, it must align with your business’s services or domain. Think very carefully whether you will be able to keep making videos about a specific topic, subject or domain regularly. This will help you choose the right ‘content type’ for your channel.

3. Trust Yourself

There are some YouTubers who give up because they think they are not cut out to be successful YouTubers. There is absolutely no doubt, you will be wracked by self-doubt when you start, especially if your videos aren’t finding enough traction. The key here is to have confidence in your ability and pursuing your end goal indefatigably.

Don’t give up because of setbacks; some of the top YouTubers started off slowly and built their audience steadily. When it comes to YouTube, it is important to understand that success won’t come easily or quickly.

4. Be Prepared for Criticism

As a YouTuber, you have the ability to showcase your knowledge and skillsets to the world, but this also sets you up for criticism. There are people who are going to like your videos and there are those who won’t and will go a step further and criticize it through the comments section.

And very often, this criticism isn’t constructive and its only aim is to make fun of you and your video. Can you handle this criticism? You must if you want to be a successful YouTuber. Try developing a thick skin and don’t allow even the most virulent criticism to affect you.

5. Respond to Comments

Make it a habit to respond to comments, irrespective of whether these appreciate or criticize your video. Your response tells your viewer that you care and are prepared to listen to their views. This helps you build a relationship with your viewers who can then turn into channel subscribers. Don’t think YouTube videos are one-way traffic wherein you make a video, a viewer sees it and forgets about it. A video is a means of driving interaction and engagement.

6. Follow other YouTubers

You might have some great content ideas for your channel, but you must also keep track of what other YouTubers are doing. There is always a chance that you will get some inspiration from their videos as to how to make a video more interesting, get the lowdown on audience engagement tactics and find technical aspects as well including camera work, audio etc.

7. Attend Meetups

There are plenty of YouTube meetups, conventions and conferences happening all over the world; it is imperative that you attend YouTube events happening in your region. This way you will be able to meet fellow YouTubers in the region, and who knows, you might also meet YouTubers, you follow and want to emulate. If you get the opportunity to discuss notes or get tips, do so. This will help refine your channel content

8. Keep Measuring Your Performance

Start measuring your YouTube performance from the word go. You need to keep track of various performance metrics to know how well you have done. A metric like ‘views’ is super important but so is ‘watch time’. ouTube judges the performance of your channel on various metrics and uses these to rank your videos in search results. There are plenty of tools that can help you track and measure YouTube performance based on various parameters.

9. Don’t Judge Yourself Too Harshly

Don’t set impossible standards for yourself. You are going to make mistakes and learn from them. No video is perfect and don’t think you can start making amazingly successful videos from day one. So, judge yourself, but don’t go overboard. Don’t compare your work with people who have many years of YouTube experience behind them; this would be counterproductive and play havoc with your confidence levels.

10. Keep at It

If you want to bring out the successful YouTuber in you, you must keep at it. Plan a video publishing schedule and stick to it, irrespective of whether your videos are doing well or not. Remember, once you set cadence, you will get better at your videos, and this will drive more engagement.

A successful YouTuber is no different from a successful person. You need to work hard, learn from mistakes, and more importantly learn from others. And you must make use of all this learning to create better and more more engaging videos.

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Success Advice

Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive

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“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!

Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.

Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.

Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:

1. Wasting Time

Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.

Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.

“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks

2. Inaccurate Responses

An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.

Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.

3. Constant Back-and-Forth

Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.

Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.

You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.

A Better Approach to Emailing

For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.

Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:

1. Checking Them Less

I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.

2. Responding Quickly

People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.

“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

3. The If-Then Technique

The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”

This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”

I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.

The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.

If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.

Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!

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4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave

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It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.

It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.

Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:

1. Where Are You?

No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.

The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

2. Where Do You Want to Go?

When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.

There’s this saying:  When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.

Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.

So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?

3. Why Do You Want It?

Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.

You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.

So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins

4. How Are You Going to Get There?

And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.

For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”

To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.

In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to  get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.

Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.

Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.

Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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Success Advice

The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work

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Claude Silver CHO of Vaynermedia
Image Credit: VaynerMedia

A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.

The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.

A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.

Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.

Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:

1. By being unafraid to share her own story

Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.

When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”

Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson

2. Committing to a strong value system

VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.

With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.  

Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.

Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.

3. Listening with action

As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something.  As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.

Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.

Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:

“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.

I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.

From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.

What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!

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