How to write an email- 5 spam-proof tips

There are a couple of important things to note when you’re writing an email. The average person receives about 120 emails each day and only opens 25% of them. This is approximately 30 but I guarantee you that it’s probably way less. I for one only open about 5 on a good day. You need an email that doesn’t get lost in the noise of the receiver’s inbox.

When the receiver opens, the goal is to get them to read your email instead of adding it to spam. Here’s how to write an email in 5 easy steps:

1. Start with an eye-catching subject line

Your subject line is the make or break part of your email. If you’re competing with 130 emails for attention then you want to stand out in every way possible. Make sure your subject line goes straight to the point. NEVER send an email without a subject line.

If it’s a job application, sometimes employers give guidelines for what your subject line should be. In this case, follow the rules. It’s not the time to get creative. Keep your subject line short and sweet- should be 55 characters or less.

Here are a couple of good examples of good email subject lines:

Job Application: Application for the role of Marketing Associate
Cold email: Career growth training opportunity for your employees
Follow up: Re: Application for the role of Marketing Associate

2. Time for salutations

‘Dear Ms. Z’ Or ‘Dear Mr. Y’ is really your safest bet in formal situations. If you’re sure about the gender of the person you’re sending to, you can use ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Madam’.

Please avoid saying ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ as much as possible because it tells the person that you didn’t really bother to do a bit of research on who you were sending the email to.

For less formal companies and organisations, you can just say Hello X. If you’re in doubt, always use Mr., Ms., Dr. or Professor to be on the safe side

3. Ask how they’re doing

This is just a one-liner that makes a good difference in your email. It’s a tad rude to just go straight to what you want. When you’re sending an email, you want to ask how they’re doing before saying anything else.

4. Introduce yourself and get straight to the point

So you’ve gotten the receiver’s attention, good job! It’s time to give them a brief but concise introduction of yourself  and what you do in relation to the email you’re sending.

An email

Here’s a great example:

My name is Sola Adebakin and I’m a software engineer at XYZ solutions. I am writing to apply for the role of Chief Technology Officer at She Leads Africa.

If you’re writing on behalf of a company, you should introduce yourself first and say your role before introducing your company and what your company does.

Example:

My name is Sola Adebakin and I’m a software engineer at XYZ solutions. I am writing to give you a better and faster alternative to 4G internet for your company through a new solution provided by XYZ

XYZ is a wifi solutions provider that gives companies up to 5 times faster internet services. We’ve helped companies like Sterling Bank, Frosty Bites and MalcolmTrust get up to 5 times faster internet and we’d love to do the same to you.

You can then go on with your ask but keep it as short as possible never let your email exceed 4 paragraphs unless absolutely necessary.

5. Close it out

For your closing words, Warm regards is one of the safest options to use. You could also use Best or Regards in a more informal email.

Example:

Warm regards,
Tiffany Aku

That’s it! your email is ready to conquer your receiver’s inbox!

How to find a job on LinkedIn

Need a new job?  Well in case you didn’t know, LinkedIn can be one of the best places to start. This is why we’ll be taking you through 5 major tips for how to find the job of your dreams on LinkedIn. Play your cards right and you’d be surprised when potential recruiters are the ones reaching out to you! 

Update your profile

Think of LinkedIn as an online CV but with more. Don’t hold back, use this opportunity to detail the work you’ve done and the skills you have. Apart from a brief summary of your work experience, have a LinkedIn bio that’s interesting enough to read through with hobbies and a bit of what you’re passionate about. 

Set up job alerts

You can set up job alerts on your career interests dashboard so that LinkedIn notifies you when a new job is open. With this feature, you can be one of the first to apply for jobs you’re interested in.

Build your connections

Be sure to connect and engage with things and people that interest you on LinkedIn. Following companies that you’re interested in and connecting with their employees and recruiters is always a good idea. 

If you have a list of emails of people that you have connections with offline, all you need to do is upload a CSV file of those contacts and LinkedIn will automatically send connection requests to all of them. This can also help to give your LinkedIn profile a little boost. 

Reach out

When you’re looking for a job on LinkedIn, you’ll need to reach out to recruiters in your choice organisations. One way to make this easy is to have a message template that you can tweak

Here’s a good example: 

“Hello Ms. Archer

My name is Lerato. My background is in software engineering. I’m exploring job possibilities and at this stage, am thinking that Maverick could be a fit for me because I can design systems exceptionally well. Can we meet for 15 minutes to discuss?

Recruiters are busy people so you want to make sure you give at least a week for a reply. 

Let Recruiters Know You’re Open

Showing your profile to recruiters is another great way LinkedIn helps you find a job. To do this, enable the open to job opportunities feature on your LinkedIn profile. You can also choose to opt in to appear in recruiter searches that match your career interests.

LinkedIn tries to protect your privacy by not showing your preferences to recruiters in your current organisation but you need to know that it’s not a 100% guarantee that you will not be visible.

That’s it! You’re now on your way to applying for the job of your dreams!

4 Tried and Tested Ways To Be Productive At Home

Whether you are still on lockdown or not, working during a pandemic can affect your normal levels of productivity. You are not crazy or lazy or lazy. These are unique times none of us ever thought we would have to deal with. However, there are ways you can be productive at home.

Isioma Ononye is a YouTuber, writer, and fellow Motherland Mogul who founded WomenRising Nigeria, a forum to discuss and advocate for the rights of women and girls. She is currently focused on creating content to help other women get through the challenges of the pandemic.


In the struggle to stay laser-focused on goals, I have tried different ways to stay productive. Here are my personal tried and tested tips for staying productive while staying productive at home.

1. Wake Up Early

As everyone stays at home due to COVID-19, it is normal to feel demotivated. However, staying at home does not mean your goals have to suffer. While at home, you could still treat things like a normal workday. That means waking up early as if you were going to work.

I found that starting the day early really sets you up to tackle your goals.

2. Set A Schedule

Another way to be productive at home is to have a schedule. Writing things down has always been an important way for me to stay focused and be productive. Having a schedule really helps guide your day.

Having a schedule is especially effective if you’re feeling restless and unmotivated. You don’t need to have a long list to pile up in order to feel accomplished. You just need to have at least 3-5 things that you plan to do for the day.

3. Eliminate Distractions

When at home, there are so many things that can distract you. You can easily be distracted by social media, relatives, and anything in between.

4-simple-ways-to-remain-productive-at-home

You can deal with this by designating a time for your work. During your work hours, use apps like Freedom to avoid digital distractions for non-work related apps.

If you’re distracted by family or housemates, communicate clear boundaries and schedule quality time outside your work hours. If you have space, you can set aside a spot for getting your work done.

4. Remind Yourself Of Your Goals

4-simple-ways-to-remain-productive-at-home

At this time, you can easily lose sight of your goals and passions. You can get so caught up in the news, that forget to take time to reflect.

It matters that you continue to take time to reflect on your goals and passions. Remind yourself of what fuels you and what you aim to do. Though we are going through peculiar times, you can still adapt to the situation and remain productive.


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HOW TO MANAGE YOUR EMOTIONS AND STAY EFFECTIVE AT WORK DURING A BREAKUP

Ever had to go to work after being dumped or signing your divorce papers. It sucks!

You have no time to be in your feelings or listen to songs that help you cry because you still have to do your job. The worst part is that the world carries on as if something horrible hasn’t happened.

Since you can’t use up your sick days to nurse your broken heart, how do you resume work and stay focused?

I’m Nike Folagbade, a life coach and therapist who has helped many broken hearts and survived my own heartbreak. Here are some tips you can use to heal and not lose your job after a breakup:


Don’t deny your pain

This is the first place to start. Don’t try to drink, eat and curse to cover your pains. Settle it in your mind that this has happened. This will help you to process the experience better. It is okay to cry, so hold a lot of tissue and excuse yourself to have private grieving moments.

Change your perception

This is not the time to wallow. Don’t dwell on blaming yourself or your ex.

Focus on having a healthy outlook. If your ex is at fault, accept that you can’t change him/her. If you are bear some of the responsibility, focus on what forgiving yourself and moving on. Take your lessons and focus on building stronger relationships in the future.

Stay in a circle of positive and funny people

When you are in the office, pay attention to other colleagues who make you smile and feel happy. Spend some time with them during your break time and laugh away your pain by getting involved.

Find someone you feel safe with to talk to

Silence never helped anyone. When you need to let things out, speak to a mature and wise friend around you or over the phone. You can also connect yourself quickly with a therapist you know online for first aid treatment.

If you are not ready to talk about it, let your manager know you are going through something personal.

Watch something funny between your breaks

It’s very tempting to wallow in sadness after a breakup.

However, continued sadness will not give you the energy you need to be effective at work. Higher dopamine levels have been associated with happiness.

Spend a few minutes in the office watching a funny skit on your phone. Laughing helps increase your dopamine levels which will boost your mood and energy for work

Write down your thoughts

Whether you keep a journal, use a notepad or app on your phone, write down your thoughts. Having an outlet for your emotions is an important part of healing that will help you quickly deal and keep you focused on reaching your goals.


Ultimately, you have to believe that there’s a better future, give yourself some time to heal gradually. While you might feel that the hurt will last forever, it won’t. Focus on the future that is brighter, get some rest when you get home and engage in activities that can make you feel alive again.

Struggling with your New Year resolutions? Try this instead.

If someone bet you $5 for every month you keep your resolution this year, the odds are that you’ll lose start losing money by mid-February. If you are already struggling to keep up with your New Year resolutions, you are not alone.

Why most of us suck at keeping resolutions

Studies have shown that New Year’s resolutions have a failure rate of 80%. One reason why we struggle to keep our New Year resolutions is that we see resolutions as short-term goals. So the second we fail to keep them, we throw in the towel.

It’s simply not sustainable for most of us to stay committed to a big goal for a year without losing steam. That’s why it makes sense for organizations to plan out the year in quarters. Milestones make it easier to accomplish big goals.

“Success in life is about project management. Determine deliverables, make milestones, and always pursue the critical path.” ― Ryan Lilly Click To Tweet

Make mantras. Not resolutions.

In the first episode of the new video series, SLA Tips, co-founder Yasmin Belo-Osagie makes a case for starting the new year off with mantras over resolutions.

High achievers like Melinda Gates also opt for mantras over resolutions. Whether your mantras are 1-word, quotes or phrases, you are more likely to achieve success with them compared to resolutions.

What mantras will you make to help you #SLAY2020?


Looking to network and get personalized tips for your career or business from experts? Join the Motherland Mogul Insider program now.

MUST-READ: 6 Things To Start Doing For Yourself In 2020

When you look back on 2019, what comes to your mind? Do you focus on the pains, regrets, and mistakes you made or do you concentrate on the strength you gained and all the blessings that came your way?

Since this is the beginning of a new decade, here’s a positive to-do list for the year ahead. With 2020 now in full swing, keep doing these 6 things for yourself:


1. Embrace your humanness and give yourself more credit

Human is the only real label you’re born with. However, it’s easy to get so focused on what others tell you that you forget how far you’ve come and what you’ve managed.

Give yourself some credit and appreciate all that you are.

2. Make your happiness a priority

Just in case you’ve forgotten, you matter A LOT. Your needs matter too! If you fail to put your needs first or look out for yourself, you hurt yourself more than you can ever imagine.

3. Enter new relationships for the right reasons

Every relationship whether romantic, business or friendship has a purpose. Focus on starting relationships with dependable and honest people – people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be.

4. Forgive yourself and others

Ever heard, forgiveness is not for the other person but for yourself? Stop rehashing old wounds and reliving the pain of the past, but forgive yourself and let go of the pain.

5. Build up your confidence

It’s never too late to chase after your dreams. Don’t think you’re left behind; start from where you are and work your way up towards where you want to go. Every day and step is necessary.

6. Track how you invest your energy and make productive shifts

You can’t do the same thing and expect change. Be mindful of what you spend your time on and focus on what really matters.


Want to invest in yourself? Join the Motherland Mogul Insider – an 8-week online program to help you grow your network and reach your professional goals.

HOW TO MANAGE DIFFICULT CLIENTS IN 2020.

With the decade is almost over, it’s the perfect time to check the relationships that are important to us.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, side hustler or corporate climber, maintaining a good relationship with your clients is an important part of your success. Unfortunately, not all clients make it easy to build a positive relationship.

How do you get that schmoney and manage difficult clients without losing your mind?

Apply some Emotional Intelligence!

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand other people’s emotions, empathize with them and respond to them appropriately.

Here are 3 tips to help you manage tough clients using Emotional Intelligence:


1. Be self-aware

The first step to empathizing with your difficult clients is evaluating yourself.

Think about how you communicate with your clients – are you showing them that you care? If you are a manager or business owner, is your company encouraging a culture of empathy for clients?

2. Listen Intelligently

Just like your personal relationships, listening is an important part of maintaining positive client relationships.

Sometimes, clients are difficult because they don’t feel heard. Consider what your clients might want from you, even if they haven’t expressed it. Listen actively by noting pain points, asking follow up questions and keeping the lines of communication open.

3. Understand your clients’ personalities

Clients are people too. When you manage people, it’s important to understand their temperaments.

Cholerics tend to be logical and use focus on facts. Stay proactive and result-oriented with choleric clients. Melancholics pay attention close to details. You must your processes for efficiency with them.

Phlegmatics can be indecisive. Be patient and helping them understand the information they need to make a decision. Sanguines tend to be carefree and impulsive, so you might consider keeping communication informal to keep their attention.

Understand your clients, their personalities and deal with them appropriately.

Which of these tips will you use to manage your difficult clients in 2020?


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SheaMoisture Spotlight On Award-Winning Midwife: Tolu Adeleke-Aire – CEO ToluTheMidwife

SheaMoisture is the enduring and beautiful legacy of Sofi Tucker. Widowed with five children at 19, Grandma Sofi supported her family by selling handcrafted shea butter soaps and other creations in the village market in Sierra Leone.

Sofi became known as a healer who shared the power of shea and African black soap with families throughout the countryside.

She handed down her recipes to grandson Richelieu Dennis, who founded SheaMoisture and incorporated her wisdom into the brand’s hair and skin care innovations.

SheaMoisture products and collections are formulated with natural, certified organic and fair trade ingredients, with the shea butter ethically-sourced from 15 co-ops in Northern Ghana as part of the company’s purpose-driven Community Commerce business model.

SheaMoisture has partnered with She Leads Africa to support and showcase Nigerian women who support their communities.

About Tolu Adeleke-Aire

Tolu Adeleke-Aire is the CEO and founder of ToluTheMidwife.

She is an internationally trained, dual-qualified healthcare professional. Tolu is an accomplished senior midwife and nurse. Tolu has over ten years of clinical and management experience.

She completed an MSc in Healthcare Management, after which she worked with the reputable UCL (Department of Nutrition).

Tolu founded ToluTheMidwife to create a holistic experience for families. One that included preparing, supporting and empowering expectant parents as they transition to parenthood. She does this through evidence-based health education.

One parent at a time, Tolu is living her business mantra, “save a mother, save a child, save a community.”

To learn more about Tolu’s business and connect with her, visit her Website, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.

ToluTheMidwife Healthcare Solutions, how did you start?

I started ToluTheMidwife Healthcare Solutions (officially) in 2018. The aim is to prepare, support and empower expectant parents as they transition to parenthood through evidence-based health education.



Birthing a baby is a life-changing experience,and services rendered must offer a holistic approach. – @ToluTheMidwife Click To Tweet

At ToluTheMidwife, we offer Antenatal Classes, Postnatal Classes, exclusive “With Woman” services and Dads Antenatal Classes #DadsAntenatalNg.

Through effective health education, we can influence a positive change in health behaviors. This will drastically reduce Nigeria’s maternal and neonatal mortality rates.

We truly believe that informed and empowered parents will Save a mother, Save a baby and Save a Community.

What was your motivation?

While still working in England, I visited Nigeria often because I always wanted to move back.

So during one of these visits, I read an article about the atrocious maternal and neonatal mortality rates. I instantly became obsessed.

That article made me struggle to understand why so many women die just because they are having a baby. On further research, I noted many women lack basic evidence-based health education.

As a result, I created Tolu the Midwife to fill this gap, with the hopes of saving mothers, babies, and communities.

What makes your brand stand out?

I would say our dads antenatal classes, #DadsAntenatalNg. We are the first to incorporate antenatal classes for dads in Lagos and possibly Nigeria.

Society expects men to understand the beautiful yet challenging changes that happen to women during pregnancy. To support their partners in labor and in the postnatal period.

All that without being taught, educated, informed or even supported.
This is grossly unfair, drives men away and generational patterns are subconsciously repeated.

Our holistic approach covers the transition to parenthood right from conception for both men and women.

Another thing we do is offer our couples, round the clock online maternity support through our exclusive “With Woman” packages.

Couples feel very reassured knowing there is a midwife available to answer all their questions and alleviate any anxiety or refer them to the hospital (if required).

Can you tell us one 1 to 3 things you struggled with as a business owner and how you overcame them?

1. Time management: I had a demanding full-time job and was starting a business in Nigeria.  It was very challenging and I found no matter how hard I tried, the “naija factor” would disrupt my plans.

I am currently working part-time, as this gives me enough time to focus on building ToluTheMidwife and The Maternity Hub (Nigeria). 

I am also able to attend various courses which have been extremely helpful in building my brand.

2. Funding: I was unable to secure a personal space as I had planned and this threw me out of sync. I froze the plans I had for the classes for a while.

However, I am currently leasing spaces as required for my classes (pay-as-you-go) and this is working out really well.

How have you managed to stay above the noise in this industry?

As a brand new start-up, we are trying new and exclusive services such as dads antenatal classes and baby massage classes and evaluating the response we get from our clients.  

We also constantly monitor maternal needs and trends.

Do you have a personal experience that taught you a business lesson?

I didn’t consider the third party factor and it left me devastated at the start of my business. 

As an example, I write the handbooks for the classes and have them updated throughout the year.

I gave the first book to a printer and I didn’t receive them on time for the very first class. It made me upset because when I did receive them, they were not fit for purpose.

So when I updated the books again and sent them to the printer, I monitored every single step to avoid a repeat of what happened before.

It was a really helpful learning experience for me because as a startup, I can’t afford to have a stain on my reputation, so I take all the necessary steps to ensure it doesn’t repeat itself.

What impact have you made on your community since starting this business?

I would say being able to make pregnant couples feel informed and empowered about their pregnancy, birthing options, and postnatal care. Most of them report feeling less anxious and worried because they know we are one call away.

They also ask the midwives and doctors to complete all aspects of their antenatal check-up. The women have their personal antenatal handheld notes, so they keep track of the important numbers in pregnancy.

All in all, I have been able to support more parents and help them become more informed and prepared to welcome their children to the world.

What is your major goal for 2019, and what have you done so far to achieve it?

My major goal is to add new services to ToluTheMidwife. This is partially completed but we would love to regularise the frequency of the classes.

We are also working hard to open The Maternity Hub. A one-stop hub for maternity, with services from conception to 6 weeks postpartum.

Can you share with us three interesting facts about yourself?

I am a real foodie and funny too, so you’ll usually catch me chilling and laughing.

Another interesting thing about me is that I prefer a good movie and company, over living it up in the clubs and bars on a Friday night.

How do you feel about this opportunity to promote your brand on SLA sponsored by SheaMoisture?

Absolutely ecstatic. SLA is an awesome platform for amazing African women.

To have our services featured on your sites, sponsored by SheaMoisture is truly an honor.


You can find SheaMoisture products at Youtopia Beauty stores nationwide and on Jumia.


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Catherine Lesetedi: Botswana’s Boss Woman

Botswana

Catherine Lesetedi is a graduate of Statistics from the University of Botswana. She has built a career in the insurance industry since she joined it in 1992. Currently, Catherine is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL).

She has built her career from scratch, and over the years, she has been adamant that adopting a flexible style of leadership is beneficial for leading an organization and getting the best out of her team.

Her career so far…

Looking at Lesetedi’s career, nothing about her story and her leadership principles and philosophies are ‘textbook’. Her style of leadership is pliable and acrobatic. It lends itself to whatever situation she and her team are in.

She’s extremely driven, open and open-minded, preferring to lead from behind, pushing her team forward, encouraging their gifts and honoring their intellect, allowing them to innovate, to grow and give to the business what she cannot.

Catherine maximizes on their strengths and makes sure that wherever there are gaps, there are people who are passionate, willing and able to execute and fill them.

Her journey there…

There is nothing predictable about Catherine Lesetedi. Even her choice of Statistics as a field to study at the University of Botswana (UB) was a bit of a wild card, even for her.

She describes it saying, “when we were making choices about what to study at varsity, we didn’t really know much about careers, to be honest with you, I didn’t know anything about Statistics until I got to the Department of Student Placement at the Ministry of Education.”

“I was late; my father and I had run out of fuel. By the time we arrived, I was out of breath, and I had forgotten my initial course choices. My brother, who I really admired, had studied Public Administration and Political Science, and that’s what I wanted.”

“They said that that weird combination didn’t exist, and told me that I was going to do Statistics and Demography.”


“If you think something is difficult, it becomes really difficult. If you think you can do it, sometimes you even surprise yourself.”
– Catherine Lesetedi,
CEO, BIHL Group

Her life experiences…

She studied Statistics at the University of Botswana, and even though her journey into that field was incidental, once there, she made the best of her situation, excelled and gleaned many things that she took forward with her into the rest of her life.

Certain experiences and her mindset set the stage for her early career and propelled her forward.

According to her, “in terms of decision-making, logical thinking, the confidence, and aptitude to learn; the program grounded me.”

“I may not use the formulas every day, but there are skills that I gained that I apply on a daily basis, even if I don’t recognize that ‘this is Statistics.”

The mathematical element empowered her to be able to engage with budgets and numbers, and not shy away from that aspect of whichever job she did.

Her philosophies for life…

All of the disciplines in the world are interrelated, so having a good understanding of what is going on across the board is beneficial for one; especially if a young woman wants to build herself up and build her career.

This is something she practices herself because, throughout the course of her career, she has gradually improved upon her leadership skills, attending leadership courses and taking on the responsibility of self-improvement.

Doing this has encouraged her to take a deeper look at herself; what drives her and pushes her beyond her own limitations. This outlook has put her in good stead as a leader, as someone who encourages others, ensuring that they are able to get the best out of what they need to do.

As a mentor, both personally and professionally, the story that she tells, the
example that she sets, is one of “show up and do your best.”

Ms. Lesetedi is big on recognizing talent and putting it to good use within the BIHL Group. These are some of the elements that make her up as a woman, as a leader, and these are some of the things that she has imparted to her mentees.


Botswana is one of Africa’s success stories, from one of Africa’s poorest countries to a vibrant, developed, middle-income African state.

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Join the SLA #SecureTheBag Challenge

Hey Girl,

End your Hot girl summer by securing the bag and getting your finances in order. Our 30 Day #securethebag calendar helps you: save, invest, and live your best life! 

So without too much talk, enjoy your calendar as promised! 

And, if you’re new to our community, starting tomorrow you’ll get more information on what She Leads Africa is and how you can boost your personal and professional development as a part of our community! Otherwise, it’s business as usual. 😏

Can’t wait to see how financially stable you become this season, so ensure to share your progress/ journey to getting the bag with us, every day on our social media @SheLeadsAfrica.

See you on Instagram!
Lola Naija 


Share this with your friends and family, let’s get the bag this September.