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Warming Up

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Be nice to your body and warm-up before you climb! Whether you happen to be a new, experienced, younger or older climber we are built virtually the same. Warming up your joints and muscles before climbing can have significant benefits both physically as well as mentally for that day and in the overall scheme of your climbing experiences.

IMG_4040A quite common myth of warming up is that it only involves static stretching before activity. In actuality, it is healthier for your muscles to perform small exercises for 10-15 minutes to increase the movement and temperature in your joints to attain a full range of motion. The traverse is an excellent example of a self-paced, solid warm up. “It [The traverse] gets my hands familiar and warmed up. It allows me to problem solve which holds to grab, where to place my feet, and really take my time.” says Christ Hartzell an avid member of the gym.

Now stretching before you climb or afterwards is left to your discretion but it is likely you will feel better stretching beforehand as stretching can release endorphins in your brain that can rouse confidence, calm, and reduce pain. Stretching can also improve your strength at a greater rate as it allows more oxygen to reach tears and heal faster. This is a life-long healthy habit that experienced climber Greg Kraus encourages all around, ‘As an older climber I have to be very careful warming up and stretching slowly and thoroughly…[I] encourage new and younger folks who see older climbers that have slightly more experience to get some knowledge and ask questions.”

So feel free to come in and grab a stretching buddy or a belay and share a good climbing experience with another member. ‘This type of gym for local climbers is really incredible because of the friendly atmosphere that is hard to find.’-Greg Kraus. 

Miranda Frievalt 

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“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”

I sit here preparing to create a new website with the help of some very talented people. Thinking about what I want to say with this website has brought my attention the ever increasing importance of visual content.

 

What is there to be said?

Is there a statement?

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“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” ~ Arthur Brisbane ~                     

This was notion was first proposed in 1911 and is even more important now than then. Today we can capture an image and within moments that image is available to thousands, tens of thousands or even millions.. Perhaps the world?

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How does this affect us?

Well back to the new website, what do I show and why? Maybe more important is what can I do for others? I offer my talents but those who want what I offer need to know I am here.

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I am now my own client?

This will be fun.

 

 

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The One Thing Small to Midsize Businesses Need to Understand About Social Media

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This post originally from Christine-Ink.com

Last week Christine and I co-taught a course for UNR’s Extended Studies program, titled Writing a Winning Blog and Social Media Strategy. In that course, we shared a lot of the strategies that work for Christine, Ink’s clients and friends—as well as some of the things we’ve observed out there in the world of social media. And guess what we found? Surprise—most small and midsize businesses have pretty similar challenges.

Let me guess: You want to do more on the social web, but you are limited by:

1.     Time
2.     Budget
3.     Skill

Still, you’re looking to get more business, and you know that the social web is where your customers are. So you set up a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, a Yelp listing, a Pinterest, a Google+…

…and there’s your first problem right there. How do you know which of those sites really suits your brand? Which of those sites is packed with target customers, and which gives you great SEO results? Did you do any of that research before you jumped in with both feet? For most, the answer is “no.” There just isn’t time—which is to say, you didn’t make time.

But let’s say, because it’s a pretty good guess for most business owners, that a big chunk of your target market is on the sites listed above. You sign in every morning and write a post about one of your products or services, and cross-post it to every network. It only takes five minutes a day, and now you just wait for the sales to roll in. Right?

Nope. Unfortunately (and it really is unfortunate for time-strapped business owners), five minutes a day is simply not enough to bring you fortune and fame. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, but it is a disappointment. 

So far, you’ve learned that you can’t successfully run a social media campaign with limited time. You can’t create more hours in a day, so you decide it’s time to hire someone who can help share your message with your audience.

So you hire a social media intern: your neighbor’s 18-year-old daughter. For $50 a month ($2 per day), she promises to post every weekday on all your profiles. Two months later, you’ve got twenty new fans and a page riddled with spelling errors and oddball videos. Frustrated, you ask your intern if she knows anything about social marketing at all. She leaves in tears, because you’re right: She knows about socialmedia, but she doesn’t know marketing.

By now, you’ve tried skimping on time. You’ve tried skimping on budget. You’ve tried skimping on skill. And you’ve learned that all-important lesson for anybody trying to get started in the social sphere.

The One Thing: The ROI of zero is zero.

And the ROI of “cheap” is still “cheap.” Let’s say you want to do $1 million in sales this year. The vast majority of your potential customers (for just about any business you can think of) are on social media. Seems like you should invest in that market, doesn’t it?

In the ten years Christine and I have been working in social media, we have seen many brands dig into great strategies that boost their audience and boost their sales. But we have never seen a single brand achieve significant increases in sales or traffic with a tiny little halfhearted investment of time or money.

Sure, some people make it look so easy to Tweet twenty times a day, or rack up Facebook fans—but just because it looks easy for them, doesn’t mean it is. Behind the scenes, they either hired an awesome team with solid expertise, or they picked up the expertise to do it on their own. Either way, they have made an investment that is paying off. Their ROI, I assure you, makes it worth the investment.

All business owners have the same challenge when it comes to social marketing, but your challenge is not what you thought it was. You are not limited by time, budget, or skill. You are limited by your perception of what a great marketing strategy can do for your business. So instead of saving social media for a last thought, make it a priority. You’ll be much more pleased with the results.

 

 

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Quarterbacking Your Brand: How to Stand Out in a Crowded Field

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This post originally from Christine-Ink.com

When Tommy Brady was in ninth grade, he wrote a school paper about how, one day, he would be a household name. His family thought he was exaggerating, but Tommy knew he had something special: determination. Well, that and a great arm.

It took years of unglamorous, hard work with little recognition. But by working harder, drilling more, never giving up and never letting anybody down, Tom Brady eventually rose through the ranks to become one of the winningest quarterbacks in NFL history.

That’s quite a story, and it’s one that will always ring true. No matter what, you can count on Tom Brady to give everything he’s got. That’s who he is to the core.

Whether it’s Tom Brady, or Michael Jordan, or Pele, or Muhammad Ali, every great athlete has their own unique style based on their own strengths and personality. Jordan could jump. Ali killed with speed. Pele never missed.

All of the greats have carved out space for themselves both on and off the field of play, and they’ve done it by being authentic to who they are. That’s a crucial part of what has made them stars: They never sought to copy anybody else, but always did the best they could do with what they were given. In a competitive world, that can make all the difference.

There’s a big business lesson to be learned here. As a leader, you are constantly competing to make your message heard on an increasingly crowded field. How do you stand out? By being absolutely authentic and playing to your strengths.

Looking carefully at your competition, you’ll probably be able to tell right away which of them are copying each other’s playbooks. Most people are afraid to take a risk by trying new things – but that’s ultimately what holds them back. After all, you’re not the only one who can see the lack of originality; your customers can see it too, and they’re tired of it.

So kick it up a notch, and start separating yourself from the pack. Show off your authenticity; invest in your true strengths; and most importantly, let some personality shine through.

Owning Your Field

Ready to show off your unique talents? It’s up to you to discover what they are, and how to use them to your advantage. Some things to try:

DO talk to your employees, customers and business partners about what they like most about you.

DO make a list of your personal and professional strengths. Don’t be too general – instead of “I always do a good job,” try “I always spend extra time going over the details.” 

DO look at successful brands and leaders outside your field for inspiration. What can you learn about how to excel with uniqueness?

DO take a personal approach in your marketing and communications. Throw out your generic sales letters and overly hyped Facebook posts, and write something you really believe!

DON’T create an inauthentic personality for your brand. Don’t pretend your company is all fun and games if what you really excel at is crossing every T!

DON’T try too hard. Like Tom Brady, building on your strengths will be something you work on for a long, long time. Make sure you’re starting from the right place.

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The 3 Social Media Trends You Need to Know About in 2014

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This post originally from Christine-Ink.com

What are the two worst things you can do with your advertising dollars these days? Any idea? I’ve got a couple. In my experience, the #1 worst thing you can do is to ignore social media. And the second worst thing to do? Focus on trends instead of building a quality brand presence.

For many business owners, keeping up with 21st-century marketing can feel like running on a hamster wheel. You’re constantly hearing about new fads, and instinctively you sense that you need to capitalize on them. This, however, is not the case.

Instead of following every trend that comes along, your goal should be making smart decisions to build your brand in the long term. That’s why we’ve identified these three crucial trends. Focus on these (and don’t worry about the rest), and you’ll breathe easier, make more impact and be happier with your marketing results.

#1: Don’t Advertise Unless it’s “Native”

What is native advertising? It’s a buzzword we all need to familiarize ourselves with. According to recent research, most people have learned to ignore advertisements on the Internet. That’s right: Nobody sees your ads. Unless, that is, they’re interesting and relevant.

When advertisements are “native” to their environment, they are both visually and mentally pleasing. They fit into the design of the host site, often appearing as an article or headline. They’re tasteful, they’re relevant and – most importantly – they offer useful information.

What could this look like? For example, if you purchase ad keywords on Google, your search result will be featured alongside other relevant information. If you advertise on Facebook, make sure you include “Boost” or “Sponsored” posts that will show up on the Wall of your targets. If you can, invest in “advertorials” in a relevant publication, which will allow you to get your name and message out while providing information people can use. You should also be sending press releases every time you’ve got news – interviews and features will always be great “native advertising.”

For more on native advertising, check out this infographic.

#2: Go Visual or Go Home

It’s long been apparent that visual posts – those including an image or video – have much greater rates of engagement across all social media sites. The more images you’ve been posting, the more traffic you’re probably getting. In 2012 and 2013, we saw a huge rise in the “visual web,” places like Pinterest and Instagram that rely almost entirely on images. You can see this trend on popular entertainment blogs like Buzzfeed as well.

While there’s absolutely no reason you should sell out and start illustrating your core messages with silly cat videos, you need to be increasing the visual appeal of your content. That touches every aspect of your Web strategy, from the posts you add to Facebook, to the design of your own site.

#3: Cut the Wheat from the Chaff

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit, SnapChat, Vine, Foursquare… How many of these sites are you currently using to promote your brand? For most business owners, the answer is: TOO MANY.

We all know that social sites rise and fall in popularity, and that what’s popular today will be defunct tomorrow. It’s time for you to dump everything but the core sites that really bring you results. By focusing on the platforms where you’re most effective, you’ll build a true following (instead of a collection of followers). Keep them engaged, and they’ll stick with you in the long term.

Wondering where to invest your energy? Every business is different, but here are my recommendations for 2014.

Pick Two or Three:

·      Facebook: Facebook is beginning to decline slightly, but it’s still your ace in the hole. Through at least the first half of 2014, almost every business should keep its main focus here.

·      Twitter: Twitter is seeing a resurgence in popularity. Be “real” and personable, interacting with your followers in real time. Share interesting content from other people, not just your own links!

·      Google+: Despite the hype, Google+ might not get you a ton of fans. What it’ll get you is great SEO and search rankings. Keep your Google+ feed active in 2014!

·      Pinterest: If you do anything with visual results – from real estate to food to design – start setting yourself up on Pinterest. This site integrates well with Facebook, meaning you can use the two to feed each other’s traffic.

·      Instagram: If you’re visually oriented and your audience skews younger, choose Instagram over Pinterest. This is one of the top sites for people under 35 in 2013.

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