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Social Networking PR

These 5 Questions Will Cure That Horrible Bloggers’ Block

By Guest Blogger Sarah Von Bargen

Friends, a warning.

This post will not give you copy and paste ideas for blog posts. This is not where I suggest starting a meme-worthy post series like “what’s in your purse?”

(Not because I don’t want to know what’s in your purse because I totally do. What’s your stance on those round chapstick ball things?)

Women with huge handbags B&W

Sarah Von Bargen Blogging

These are more start-of-the-brainstorming-session, open-to-your-interpretation suggestions. They’re a great place to start when you’re sitting down to plan out next month’s content.

With that said, here are five questions to ask yourself when you’re filling in that editorial calendar.

Am I working on any projects or offerings that I want to build buzz for? Can I give my readers a sneak peek of any upcoming stuff?

If you’re working on a brunch cookbook, write a post about the magic of brunch, link to your favorite brunchy recipes, tell people you’re working on the book, and tell them they can join your list so they’ll be the first to know when it comes out.

If you’re writing an ebook about getting over a break up, share a story about one of your breakups, what you learned from it, tell readers what you’re working on, and invite them to join your list. You get the idea!

Am I trying to grow my Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest followers this month?
Think about what you can write that pairs nicely with each of those platforms. If you’re trying to grow your Instagram following, do a roundup of Instagrammers you think people should follow (Kaelah does a nice job of this). @mention them so they know you’re talking about them and remind your readers that they can follow you.

If you’re trying to grow your Pinterest following, create content that relates to some of your best, most popular boards. Tell readers if they like this, then they’ll really love your Pinterest board on the same topic. 

Is there anything happening this time of year that’s particularly important to my readers and clients?
Do your readers care that it’s tax season? That it’s New York Fashion Week? The shoulder travel season in Europe? Chinese New Year?

woman torn jeans fashion

blogging tips

Think about the events that matter to your people and write content that helps them prepare and enjoy those events. During college graduation season I wrote about how to be a grown-ass woman and during the holiday shopping season I wrote about how to prepare your shop for a deluge of sales and customers.

Have there been any Big Deal developments in my industry or community that I should talk about?
What does it mean for your clients and readers when Facebook changes their policies? When gay marriage becomes legal? When there’s a polar vortex? When Apple releases a new phone? When New York makes Airbnb illegal?

I’m sure you stay up to date on the news and big developments in your industry and I’m sure you’ve got capital O Opinions. Share those with your readers! And if the developments are challenging or troubling, share any ideas about how to deal with them.

Have there been any big changes (good or bad, big or small) in my life that lead to epiphanies that would help my readers + clients?

Of course, if you blog exclusively about food it might be a bit weird to blog about your cat-ownership realizations. But most epiphanies aren’t industry-specific! I mean, I wrote about the business lessons I learned from creating a cat calendar.

Readers love to learn more about you and your life; they’ll probably enjoy hearing more about you while learning something useful.

Sarah Von Bargen

Sarah Von Bargen has been writing for 16 years, blogging for 8, and solving people’s problems online since dial up internet. Grab her free book ‘7 TRICKS FOR A POLISHED + IMPRESSIVE + PRODUCTIVE ONLINE LIFE’ here or follow along on Twitter


The life-Changing Magic of Speaking Up. (This is my story. What’s yours?)

As a high school student in Palo Alto, California, I was irrepressibly curious and constantly looking for strange and exciting new experiences to try out. And if those “strange and exciting” adventures meant that I could make a little extra money on the side? Even better!

That’s how I wound up sitting in a laboratory with a guy in a white lab coat who explained that he was conducting an important scientific experiment. I was going to be compensated for my time and, so it seemed, helping to further a scientific discovery. This was great!

“There’s a man sitting in another room, on the other side of this wall,” Mr. White Coat explained to me. “This man is taking a test and if he answers a question incorrectly, you must give him an electric shock.”

Mr. White Coat shocks me the 15 volts to show me how it feels. Ow! I jerk in my seat. Tolerable, but definitely painful.

“Remember,” Mr. White Coat reminds me. “If the test subject gets the wrong answer, you shock him.”

The test begins. The man taking the test gets a string of wrong answers. I shock him. Wrong answer. I shock him again.

With each progressive shock, the man on the other side of the wall — the man I am shocking — begins to yelp, then cry out, then scream. It sounds like the pain is becoming unbearable. I glance up at Mr. White Coat and he urges me to keep going. After the third shock, the man on the other side of the wall SCREAMS out, “Stop! Please! STOP! Let me out!” and starts pounding frantically on the wall. I yank back my hands and stand up.

“This experiment is over. I won’t shock him any more. He’s screaming. It obviously hurts.”

Sternly, he urges me to sit down and continue. “You agreed to this experiment so you have to finish it.”

“No, forget it, I won’t do it,” I tell him. I gather my things and prepare to leave. Mr. White Coat puts his hand on my shoulder to stop me and says,

“Wait.”

Photo Credit: Death to stock photo Experimenter The Movie

Photo Credit: Death to stock photo Experimenter The Movie

“The man on the other side of the wall is also participating in the experiment. He wasn’t really being shocked. You weren’t hurting him. He was just pretending. He wasn’t the test subject. YOU are.”

You can imagine, my teenage jaw fell right down to the floor. I was stunned and also relieved.

He went on to explain that he and his colleagues were conducting an experiment to see how people obey orders and respond to “authority figures.”

The results were pretty troubling.

Many of the people controlling the “shock” button kept shocking, and shocking, and shocking, and shocking…up to 450 volts (“Danger: severe shock”) despite horrible screams and pleas coming from beyond the wall.

According to The Atlantic Magazine, in one variation of the experiment, 65% of the people shocked the other person to “death.” (Not really, of course, because the actor was just pretending. But they didn’t know that.)

When asked, “Why did you do that? Why did you keep administering the shock?” most people would respond with some variation of, “The guy in the white coat told me to do it!”

Pretty staggering, right? As this experiment, first conducted by Stanley Milgram — which went on to become a famous, historic experiment, and is now a Hollywood movie called Experimenter — demonstrates, most people do not question authority. If someone who appears to wearing some kind of “uniform” doles out an instruction, most people simply obey.

I was one of the few people who wouldn’t obey. Why? Because I won’t be bullied into hurting somebody, even if I’m told that I “must.” (“Must” is not a word that I like and I do not like being told what to do.) But I do know that it comes from my family, who has always taught me to stand up for what I believe no matter what. And to be kind and to help others who are in distress.

So this non-conformist attitude came from the example of my upbringing. As far as I can remember, I’ve always been wired that way — and it definitely carries through to my work today.

Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photo Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~ The Dalai Lama

Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photo Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~ The Dalai Lama

When a client said to me, “My publisher wants to put out a press release that doesn’t accurately represent my work and the content of my book and I don’t feel right about it, but don’t feel like I can say anything. After all, they know best.” I told my client, “Don’t go against your own moral compass. Let’s come up with a new strategy and present it to them.” That’s what we did and it was readily accepted.

Or when another client said to me, “A sales expert told me I had to use his coaching model to get clients, but those aren’t the people I really want to work with,” I told my client, “Then stop that. We can find another way that reaches the people you resonate with.” I helped her get her first $10,000 client for a new program we devised. She was elated and said, “You turned my world upside down. What you have really opened my eyes to is another level of living. One to which I have aspired, but my only model was ‘become a guru.’  (shudder) Not only are you helping me, you are modeling a way of thinking that uplifts my spirit.”

When I see someone doing something that’s painful, unethical, ineffective, or that just “doesn’t feel right” for whatever reason, I urge them to speak up. I urge them to stop. I urge them to trust their instincts, rather than blindly trusting “The Man in the White Coat.”

Your “speaking up” story can be anything you want. Stopping a person from beating their dog. Telling a teacher that you DO in fact have singing skills. A time when you spoke up in a meeting and suggested something totally opposite to the common group think.

Speak up for what is right

Speak up for what is right

By speaking up and choosing to behave differently than your peers, you could transform your industry, change your customer’s lives, or (who knows?) even save someone’s life.

When you feel the urge to speak up or defy the “orders” you’ve been given, do it.

With very, very few exceptions, you will not regret it.

Can you think of a time when you spoke up and it changed your life or someone else’s life? I want to hear your story.

Here’s how to share:

  • Head over to Instagram (download the app here to sign up if you don’t already have an account).

  • Once you’re logged into Instagram, follow me and then post a photo plus some text. For the text, briefly tell a story about a time in your life when you chose to speak up—where you were, what you said, and what happened next.

  • Include this hashtag somewhere in your text: #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and tag me @susanharrow

  • Guidelines: please keep your story brief. 250 words or less. Think: “sound bite sized.” Also, please keep your story G-rated and appropriate for kids and teens to read. Extra credit for concise stories!

  • Please do your Instagram post by November 24 and encourage friends to participate, too!

  • Not on Instagram? No problem. Do the same thing on Facebook. Please “like” my page and remember to use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and to tag me @susanharrow.

Prizes!

Prizes for everyone

Every single person who shares a story on Instagram or Facebook receives my E-book Girl On Fire—which shows you how to speak up in 10 of life’s trickiest scenarios—just for participating!

Here’s how to get that prize (and be entered in the contest for the grand prize):

Go to Instagram or Facebook.

  1. On Instagram follow me and then tag EITHER the photo OR the text using @susanharrow.
  2. Post your story and image. NOTE: Make sure that you own the rights to the image or have creative commons commercial use rights. All submissions must have an image as well as text. Need some photo inspiration? Go here.
  3. Use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp.
  4. Tag me: @susanharrow.
  5. Go here to download your prize!
  6. I’ll announce the grand prize winner on December 9! (I hope it’s you!)

(Note: this is purely an “honor system” situation. No big hoops to jump through. If you posted a story, then go ahead and get your prize! It’s yours for the taking. Enjoy.)

Grand prize for one person 

I will also select one story—the one that I feel is the most poignant or had the most impact—and that storyteller will receive the grand prize: My 6 month mentorship program to get prepared for publicity for or to launch your publicity program (Worth $11,500). I’ll announce the grand prize winner on my Instagram account and my Facebook Page on December 9. (Follow me on Instagram at @susanharrow and on Facebook to stay in the loop!)

This will be so fun and inspiring!

Whether you have a story about a huge, life-altering moment—or a small, quiet, everyday act of bravery—I want to see how you decided to speak up.

 

Small print: 

In submitting a photo and story (The Work) you give memy publisher, and its licensees and assigns permission to use any and/or all of the material from your post including the photo in all editions and derivations of The Work throughout the World, in all languages and all media, whether now known or hereinafter devised, and in the advertising, publicity, and promotion thereof. Proper credit will be attributed to you in The Work.

 

In submitting a story with an image/photograph you grant the permission requested above and warrant that the material indicated below does not infringe upon the copyright or other rights of anyone. If you do not control the rights requested by this post in their entirety, please provide me with the name and address of any other party from whom permission is required.

 

I cannot wait to see your story. Whether it’s a story about a gigantic act of courage — or a small, everyday act of bravery — it all counts and it’s all amazing.

This blog post was inspired by a lovely & very popular book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It’s delightful. You should read it. 

Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song™.


The $20K Facebook Post

By Nancy Marmolejo

I was chatting with my colleague Nancy Marmolejo about how she was getting so much traction of Facebook. If you offer high-ticket programs or services this is something you’ll want to consider as it’s a “new” and innovative Facebook Marketing strategy. I’m just going to copy the post here with a few of my edits… read it… then if you want to reach out directly to Nancy to talk to her about this, simply go here.

Facebook Marketing with Nancy Marmolejo

Facebook Marketing with Nancy Marmolejo

The public is on to you. They’re sensing something isn’t entirely real when you post in social media. It’s all gotten SO contrived. Your carefully crafted photos, status updates, and strategically planned posts — come across like you phoned them in. It’s not the real you. And people see that. I see that. We all see that…we’re not buying it…literally.

Simply put, these overly “airbrushed” posts is not the kind of engagement that results in revenue.

Look, let me share this with you. Do you know what it’s like to post something that speaks from the heart and then have someone — a total stranger who isn’t even on your list — hire you for $20K? I do. It’s awesome. Sure beats doing a launch, paying JV partners or forking out thousands of dollars for Facebook ads.

Have people ever private messaged you asking how they can work with you?

And I’m not talking low level work, but high-level, high priced work that’s gratifying and profitable and amazing.

People who are ready to take action and don’t want to jump through your funnel to get to you. They want you NOW. 

What if posting about your dog on Facebook could fill your programs? That resulted in getting a bunch of newclients just for talking about something you love? Or what if sharing about your favorite juice bar could get a person to invest in your highest level offer?

No selling. No posing. No B.S. Just you being you. All while you’re still “on brand” and authentic.

Welcome to the world of real engagement… that converts.

For close to a decade, social media has been “my thing” to get clients.

People have been asking me for YEARS how I have successfully mastered social media engagement and Facebook marketing. “How do you get all these comments on your posts? How did you get so-and-so in on that conversation? How come you get clients — high-end ones — from social media and I don’t?”

What if Posting About Your Dog on Facebook Could Fill Your Programs?

What if Posting About Your Dog on Facebook Could Fill Your Programs?

For example, one woman, who regularly signs up 5 figure clients into her high-end program, put out a video to invite people to it. But it got zero traction. No engagement. No one watching it. Once I worked with her to change the wording in the Facebook post her engagement went wild! She has over 1000 views and counting and has converted a number of her ideal clients into her program.

It’s an ART. But like any art form, it can be taught. What’s cool is it will become YOUR art. Your voice. Your magic.

I can teach you how. But I want to do it right, so here’s how it’ll get YOU the best results.

I’m inviting 10 people to do this with me. I will teach exactly what I do, why I do it, how I do it, and how to customize it to YOU so you find your irresistible social media voice. (Hint: you don’t have to be anyone but yourself to do this. But you can’t see yourself the way I see you… that’s why mentoring for this is so important!)

Tell me why this would be valuable to you. I’m offering a small number of free consults to anyone interested in doing this work with me. Tell me about your challenges and what you’d love to see happen here.

Nancy Marmolejo has been in business since 2003,and has won numerous awards in business innovation and achievement, been featured in 5 books (and counting!), has over 100 media credits to her name, and maintains a great reputation in her industry as a thought leader. Her own Talent and Genius draw from a fascinating upbringing in a family business, a first career as an inner city school teacher, and an insatiable curiosity that drives her. She’s a genius at finding yours.


Snap. Post. Kaching: 4 Ways to Get Engagement and Sales on Instagram

Guest post by Melissa Camilleri

As long as you haven’t been living under a rock the past couple years, you’ll know that Instagram should be a key component to your online marketing strategy, especially as a service-based business, where the competition often believes Instagram will not work for them. Newsflash: it can and it will. With over 300 million+ active users, it’s pretty certain your people are on Instagram. So, it behooves you to show up there, too.

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Likely, you already have a presence on Instagram. If you’re anything like I was when I first started using the platform, your growth has been slow going and your reach not quite multiplying in the way you see it happening for other businesses. It’s frustrating to be in this space. In fact, I know that feeling well.

It took me one full year to grow my following on Instagram to 1000. But I was determined and focused. I observed and took action. I put in place some key strategies that took my Instagram (@shopcompliment) from 1000 to 17,000 the following year. These days, I’m adding an average of 1500 new followers per month and get 70% of my website traffic and conversions from Instagram. I’m selling multiple five-figures month after month, and my Instagram strategy is a large part of that.

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 11.00.35 AMI have no special photography or tech training under my belt. Just sheer will + an iPhone + a pretty good sense about people. There are some key things you can do to make sure your efforts on Instagram are giving you a solid ROI for your time– no matter your business model.

Here are my Instagram marketing tips –  four things you can start doing today to give you the foundation to start actually making money on Instagram:

1. Show up consistently.

It is essential that if you have an Instagram account, you are posting at least once a day to maintain a part of the conversation. Posting consistently will keep you top of mind in your customer’s heads. Did you know that studies show that a potential customer has to interact with a brand a minimum of 7 times before ever taking action? The more you post, the quicker this will happen. I do suggest posting no more than 3 times per day, with your posts at least 3-4 hours between posts. Anything more frequent will just clog your followers’ feeds and get annoying.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 11.00.10 AM

2. Get social.

Interact with the people who comment on your photos. @Mention them back. Ask them questions. Share your gratitude. And don’t be afraid to leave comments on other people’s pictures, too. Be generous with your likes. Follow back people who are consistently interacting with you. It’s called a social network for a reason! Let people get to know you, and seek ways to get to know your followers.

3. Post with your ideal customer in mind.

What does she like about your brand? What is on her mind at the time of the day you’re posting? What does she talk about with her friends? Where is she when she buys from you? What are her dreams? What are her problems and how does your product solve them? When you write the captions of your photos, keep her in mind. Write directly to her. You’ll find that your engagement will grow authentically with people who are excited about what you’re putting out into the world.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.58.09 AM

4. Understand that your numbers are less important than engagement.

Don’t get me wrong, the number of followers you have is definitely important. Followers act like little votes of confidence and give your brand credibility. And because people do what they see other people do, the more followers you have, the more followers you will get.

But, what good is a bunch of followers who don’t ever book your services? (I’ll give you a hint: NO GOOD AT ALL.) Numbers aren’t everything. Authentic engagement is what matters most. You build engagement by building relationships. By putting some key strategies into place (like the ones listed above), you can make sure that you are building trust and turning the followers you do have into raving fans and eventual customers.

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.58.30 AM
Melissa Camilleri is the Founder + Creative Director of Compliment– a gift brand she launched in 2011 while she was a full-time high school English and AVID teacher. She credits Instagram for helping her grow her business from a production line on her dining room table to the socially-responsible corporation it is now. At the urging of her business-owner friends who wanted to replicate her marketing success. Tens of thousands have attended her virtual courses, participated in her workshops, and studied under her guidance. She believes we rise by lifting others. She lives and loves in Northern California.

Say hello to Melissa on Instagram @shopcompliment.

Want more ways to leverage Instagram for your service or product-based business?

Register now for FREE webinar with Melissa Camilleri


3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness

 

Social Media Tips

Social Media Tips
Photo by: deapeajay

Sometimes I’m totally obsessed with pinning, tweeting, and blogging. Then I catch myself….Whhhhaaaaat am I doing? This isn’t work.

Or is it?

Dunno. I go back and forth.

Is sharing this pic good for my brand because I think it’s funny—or cute?

Maybe.

Some things to think about BEFORE you post something on social media.

1. Does this link really represent a great article that will help my further my business or brand?

I admit I ALWAYS click through and read any article before I share because some people are fabulous at writing headlines/titles, but don’t deliver on content. Are you curating your content closely to make sure that you don’t send something that is potentially offensive or worthless? Don’t be in a super hurry to promote things just because others think it’s great. I’m not always of the same opinion.

3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness

Best times for social media posts
Photo by: Fey Illyas

2. Should I schedule my posts during optimal times?

Sometimes. I have discovered that, though our Sprout Social app may tell us the best times to tweet and post to Facebook, it doesn’t always predict who is online in the wee hours. I’ve had tons of favorites and retweets when I’m skimming for content ideas on those nights I can’t sleep.

Surprised? Yes, so was I. So don’t always believe the stats as when your tribe is or isn’t tweeting or Facebooking. Learn from your own experience. Those tools are great, but they aren’t God. They are algorithms, not people. The only way to find out what’s piquing your tribe is to choose things that please you or have already piqued others. (Though, neither is a guarantee). Lady luck plays a huge part in viralocity. As does timing and the tenor of the times.

3. Should I hire a social media manager?

Depends…

You want a social media manager who understands you and your brand and can sift through content quickly and make recommendations for posts, articles, pics and respond to people in your network in your voice. Sometimes this takes a bit of training – once you have the right person in that role.

Most of the time I leave all the social media stuff up to my social media manager Kayli Schattner to help me choose and post things I think you would like and share. That said, I send her things i want her to schedule AND I still want to approve most of the content before it gets posted. My VA Kelly has chastised me about this, saying it’s a waste of my precious time. But I’m super particular about my reputation. So that’s your own personal call.

For example, if someone makes a request that Kayli doesn’t know how to answer or feels uncomfortable answering, she’ll jet me and email so I can write up a response. We’ve created a bank of responses for the most frequently asked questions that she can tailor them to any request. That way I ensure that my followers are being handled in the way that matches my conversational style and integrity. And it saves a ton of time for all of us.

And, you’re in for a treat because…

Kayli has a few openings for a new client.

3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness

Social Media Marketing

Kayli is the most positive and optimistic person I know. She is always willing to help—and will tell you honestly when she doesn’t know something —or what doesn’t suit her strengths. I depend on her to handle all my social media and the administration of my blog. She’s a gem. Best to be fast. I scooped her up within an hour of interviewing her as she shined far above all the other candidates.

Here’s what she’s looking for:

Are you a creative entrepreneur or blogger looking to refine your web presence and generate leads through the power of social media? Find yourself craving more time to focus on what makes your soul happy rather than community building and small-talk? Social Media Strategist and Web Presence Consultant, Kayli Schattner, is taking on a couple of extra clients and would love to discuss how she can help you and your business. If you’d like a creative, upbeat and dedicated Social Media Manager for your business, be sure to jet her an email at: hello@thepassionpunch.com to discuss strategy and pricing.

Interested in more tips for social media? Try these:


LinkedIn Engagement – 10 Tactics that Take Less than 10 Minutes

 

LinkedIn Infographic Stand OutLinkedIn Engagement – 10 Tactics that Take Less than 10 Minutes
(Rule #36 From 42 Rules for 24-hour Success on linked In)

By Chris Muccio

The goal is to help you create a sustainable participation on LinkedIn.

There are numerous ways to create engagement on LinkedIn by using your time efficiently. If you are building out a 15-minute-per-day participation plan, these tactics should fit perfectly. In this rule, we are going to discuss 10 tactics that can each be performed in well under 10 minutes. (Note: these are all online techniques. You could always integrate offline techniques like writing a note and mailing it and sending a card.)

Quickest Tactics: Each Takes Less than a Couple of Minutes

1. Start your day with a quick glance at your notifications tab
(located, as of this writing, at the top right of your page). In a couple of seconds, you can see who has most recently interacted with you. Based on that, you can respond accordingly.

2. Check your morning e-mails with group activity.
Scan to see which posts you are interested in and can comment effectively toward.

3. Open up your Google Alerts, and scan for interesting information to share with your connections.
(Note: if you haven’t already, set up Google Alerts to monitor keyword phrases that are important to you, your industry, or your target audience. Each day, Google sends you an e-mail with a list of articles related to your search. It takes less than a minute to initially set up.) Always add a sentence or two to the link you post. Just posting links without comments does not create the engagement you want people to make with you. One note of caution: be cognizant of articles that you come across that may be sitting behind a site’s paid side (i.e., paywall). Some recipients won’t be able to read these links.

LinkedIn Infographic
Click for a larger image

 4. Scan your activity stream.
Depending on how you have your filter set, this can show all the activity occurring within your network. Find items to comment on in a value-added way. Making relevant comments keeps you and your company name in people’s thoughts and reinforces the connections between you. If you can’t find something to comment on, then find something to “like.” As we discussed in Rule #24, it can still be a powerful tactic.

5. Endorse someone in your network.
Consider the points we shared in Rule #32.

Quick Tactics: Each Takes Less than Five Minutes

6. When people endorse you, thank them.
If they commented on your update, respond. If they viewed your profile, send them a message.

7. Skip the e-mail in item #2, and go directly into your key groups.
Open each one and post a comment, comment on a post, or add a “like.” Always add value to the discussion. Just do this in your main groups. Spreading yourself too thin will dilute your effectiveness.

8. Post an update on your company page.
It is a great way to engage with a highly targeted demographic.

9. Focus on one-to-one communication.
Check out specific profiles in your network. You can see the last time you’ve communicated with them via LinkedIn’s little CRM function. Take a quick second to send a short message.

10. Invite people.
Take a few minutes to find new people to add to your network. They may be people in your target industry, region, or company. Make a connection request with a personal message. Perform this wisely. Remember to connect with care and with those you have something in common with. Don’t spam invites; LinkedIn is watching

Next Steps

Take a look at these tactics. Try them. Refine them and figure out what works best for you. The goal is to help you create a sustainable participation on LinkedIn. These are quick and can be very effective tools to engage with your target audiences. Take a peek at the video Chris created from our interview on how to use sound bites on LinkedIn.

Chris is a seasoned executive who started his career with PriceWaterhouseCooper . He holds an MBA from the University of Florida, where he was named a Matherly Scholar, the highest honor awarded by the program. Throughout his corporate career, Chris has functioned as a global executive leading multiple highly successful projects, teams and multi-million dollar business functions across 28 countries on five continents. Currently he’s a sought after Chief Digital Strategist. You can get his Amazon Bestselling book and attend CR3 Digital Marketing Telesummit here: www.42for24.com


Why Podcast? 3 Top Reasons – Positioning, Promotion, and Profit

 

Why Podcast?

by Kris Gilbertson

Have you heard about podcasting lately?

It seems to be the buzz word of marketing that everyone is talking about in recent months — everywhere from Entrepreneur.com, HubSpot, Social Media Examiner, ProBlogger and the list goes on and on.

So, Let’s quickly break down the Top 3 Reasons to Podcast:

#1:: Podcasting Creates Positioning

By partnering with a huge marketing giant like iTunes you already get to leverage the loyal following of the Apple market.

There are over 1 Billion Podcast Subscribers — all of whom are seeking expert advice on their problems, seeking experts to provide solutions to the pain in their life or business, and looking for people to entertain them at the same time.

Just like being on the Radio, TV, or Print – you create expert positioning by being on those mediums. The same things happen by default with a podcast. Your expert status is increased and your exposure triples because you are now showcased in the iTunes Platform.

Also — There are over 900 blogs to one podcast. Simply by having a podcast your odds of exposure massively increase for your prospects finding you.

#2: Podcasting Creates Effective Promotion

Podcasting allows you to have your content on the go as an Expert.

Your audience doesn’t have to be in one place — they can be in the car, at the gym, walking the dog, driving in the car — they can be anywhere.

And where are all of our customers today — on their phones.

Your content, as a podcast, just became mobile — a staple that your prospects can take with them on the go.

This is extremely important because when people listen to you on your podcast — you have their undivided attention. They are tuning in JUST to listen to you and for no other reason.

By default, a podcast is one of the most intimate marketing channels you could possibly have for you business. When people are tuning in just for your content their level of Trust increases, your like-a-bility increases, and your sales will increase.

Because who do we only buy from — people that we like and trust!

So a podcast can be a great way for you to strengthen the relationships with your current clients, open the door up to new ones, and provide incredible value that results in people wanting to learn more about you and your business to a whole new audience.

#3: Podcasting Increases Profit

The main reason why podcast listeners prefer to buy products they heard about on a podcast, is because of the level of transparency that happens on a podcast.

You can completely be yourself and let your true personality, style, and character be discovered. This is how my clients have been able to massively increase their website traffic and increase sales from podcasting.

By being your unique self, your tribe will find you. And that is a beautiful day, because it doesn’t matter if you’re perfect or not as a speaker. They will still tune in and follow you – because they like you and your own unique style.

I still remember the day that a top marketing veteran of a top fortune 500 company said to me– Kris, if you want to make a little sell the products. If you want to make a ton – sell yourself.

And that still rings true today – people are looking to get behind people’s brands.

Not be on the outside looking in anymore. They want to connect with you, the real you – and more often.

And this is how a podcast can truly increase your profits because of the loyalty that happens from you regularly podcasting and sharing incredible content that your listeners can implement. By doing this, the level of trust increase and then when you do have promotions you already have people that are excited and hungry for what you have to offer.

Kris Gilbertson is a podcasting expert that teaches business owners and entrepreneurs how to generate free traffic, leads and sales through podcasting. Her podcast Secrets of the Extraordinarily Successful is listened to in over 103 countries and receives thousands of downloads on a weekly basis.

Join us for a free webinar: How to Generate Free Leads, Traffic, and Sales with Podcasting

I’d love to know your biggest question about podcasting?

Please leave a comment below and Susan and I will be sure to address this.


Lies About “The List” & Other Myths You Shouldn’t Buy Into

 

By Guest Blogger Danny Iny

Hi, I’m Danny from Firepole Marketing, and in the next few minutes, in this video I’m going to show you why a lot of the so-called good advice you’ve been following to build your business could actually be crippling your growth – and what to do about it.

Let’s start by stating the obvious:  Starting a business online is a gargantuan challenge – especially in the beginning.

You work hard to create excellent content, gather strangers from all over the internet, and somehow get them onto your list. It’s slow going – but you try to trust that if you just keep at it – success will follow. Someday.

But you have a nagging sense that you’re missing something important – like there’s one key piece of information that keeps slipping through your fingers – and if you only had it, you’d see a lot more success, a whole lot faster!

And faster would be nice, because it’s been really slow going – sometimes so slow that you wonder if you’re making any progress at all.

Well I want to tell you something. There IS a key piece of information you’re missing….

Watch the video to find out.

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7 Ways To Increase Your Pinterest Following

 

Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest For BusinessExcerpted from the new book Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest For Business by Karen Leland, Sterling Marketing Group.

What pushes one person or companies Pinterest past unknown to being a star player? In short it’s your ability to curate and promote content that is meaningful, attractive, social media friendly, and on message with your brand. To build up a bigger audience on your Pinterest put these 7 strategies in place.

1. Build More Niched Boards
Take a look at the most popular players on Pinterest, and it will become clear they have a plethora of boards, usually between 50 and 100, on average. It’s also obvious that those same users have gone to great efforts to make their boards as niched as possible so they stand a better chance of being found (and followed) by a targeted audience. For example, if you’re a cookbook writer, a single board named “desserts” that features all manner of sugary goodies would work, but you might draw more followers if you took that same board and split it into four:

  • Pies and cakes
  • Cookies and bars
  • Chocolate
  • Ice creams, sorbets, and puddings

By refining your boards to be more relevant to the people who are the most interested in those specific topics, you increase your chances of getting followers.

2. Jump on the Trending Topics Bandwagon
People, places, and events that are popular at the moment make great bait for finding new followers. Topics that are trending will be getting keyword-searched on the site, and if you have a pin that fits, you stand a good chance of picking up some of that traffic. Reachli.com says that pins related to trending topics see an average 94-percent increase in click-throughs. So it pays to pay attention to the trending topics on Pinterest and to what’s trending on other social media sites. A few great resources include:

Post to Your Most Popular Boards
For those boards of yours that have a significantly larger following than others, post with slightly more frequency. Since more people are following these boards, your chances for a higher rate of repins—and hence new followers—is greater.

Pinterest Infographic3. Follow High-Profile and Highly Relevant People
While the criteria for whom you follow should first and foremost be the relevance of their pins to your business and brand, there’s a case to be made for having at least 10 percent of whom you choose be the big dogs in their fields. By following these power players, you increase the chances that they’ll follow you back, repin, like, and comment on your images, and give you greater exposure to their large followings.

4. Use Keywords in All Your Pins
Paying attention to SEO is a significant part of pinning. The more on target you are with the keywords you use in your boards and pin descriptions, the more likely you are to draw followers searching for and interested in those topics.

5. Promote Pinterest with Your Email Newsletter
Given the stringent no-spam requirements that exist for email marketing today, it’s a safe bet that the people already on your distribution list want to hear from you. Several ways to build your Pinterest following with a newsletter include:

  • Announcing your presence on the site in a regular newsletter you send and encouraging readers to click through and follow you.
  • Sending out a pithy, photo-heavy announcement about your Pinterest, inspiring your tribe to find out more.
  • Enticing readers to visit your Pinterest by placing a Pinterest icon that links through to your page on all email newsletter communications and featuring a “hot” pin or two you’ve recently posted.

6. Add Pinterest to Your Email Signature Line
You have the opportunity with every email you send to anyone—client, potential client, friend, colleague, stranger you just met on the airplane—to promote your Pinterest and gain followers. Simply add the dedicated URL of your Pinterest to the end of your signature line, where the links to your other social media (website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) live, and allow people to follow you with a single click.

7. Reciprocate
A good best practice is to always check out a new follower, or someone who has liked or repinned one of your images, and consider whether you want to follow them back. Some of the criteria to take into account include:

  • Are they a major player in the same space? If so, consider following them, since your audiences are likely to be the same.
  • Are they pinning interesting, beautiful, or highly informative content? If yes, they’re worth following as a regular resource for repinning.
  • Are they someone on whose radar you’d like to be? Following someone increases the chances they’ll follow you back and gives you regular opportunity to comment, like, and repin their images.

Get your 4 free bonuses here: http://bit.ly/PKaren

50 Ways to Use Pinterest For Your Business. A cheat sheet of Bronze-, Silver, and Gold-Level Tips.

Bonus Chapter 18: Pinterest in 15 Minutes a Day available online only, this chapter shows you how to make the most of Pinterest Monday – Friday, in just 15 minutes a day.

Pinterest Podcast: 14 Types of Boards Every Business Should Consider Creating with Karen Leland, author of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business and President of Sterling Marketing Group.

Pinterest Webcast: If you are new to Pinterest, or want to up your game, this short and information-packed webcast will show you the best ways to use Pinterest to promote your book, business, or product.

 

Karen Leland is the bestselling author of 8 business books including the recently released Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest For Business, which can be purchased at http://bit.ly/Amazonbook. She is the president of Sterling Marketing Group, where she works with small businesses and Fortune 500 on building stronger personal and team brands. She writes the Modern Marketing Blog at www.karenleland.com.


9 Steps to Be a Thought Leader — and Become a Media Darling

By Susan Harrow, media coach

So many people call themselves thought leaders now – but they aren’t. To be a thought leader takes some doing. It’s not so much about being original as it is about putting things together in an original way. Thought leadership marketing comes down to packaging your knowledge, skills, abilities, experiences, and yes, your thoughts in a way that makes you media worthy and worth listening to by your audience—a huge audience. Follow these nine steps to get going on the path to be respected, heard and reverberated out into the world.

1. Cultivate an opinion.

Thought leaders have opinions. They shape a story. They position facts in a context. They make statistics come alive by interpreting them. We value people who give us perspective on things that matter most in our culture today.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and their first woman to sit on their board, said of the differences about how men and women respond to taking credit for their success, “If you ask men why they did a good job, they’ll say, ‘I’m awesome. Obviously. Why are you even asking?’ If you ask women why they did a good job, what they’ll say is someone helped them, they got lucky, they worked really hard.”

To follow her lead take a look at your field or industry and find something that irks or inspires you and start to formulate some opinions about it. Folk singer Joan Baez said, “I’ve never had a humble opinion. If you’ve got an opinion, why be humble about it?” Thought leaders aren’t afraid to voice a strong opinion. The media seek guests who have opinions that help us ponder what’s important.

2. Make a prediction.

Can you see the future? Look into your private crystal ball and share it in a press release. Ten years ago I told my literary agent that getting on TV and grasping at fame was going to become a national obsession. I wrote up a book proposal about how to get on TV, supplied anecdotes from my own experience as a publicist and media coach, and gathered statistics to show that this was going to be a hot new trend. He pitched my idea to all the top New York publishing houses.

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Alas, the traditional book industry didn’t buy it. It was too far ahead of its time. But guess what? Didn’t that prediction come true? Practically everyone is now scrabbling for his 15 seconds of fame. New reality TV shows are popping up every year. The Fishbowl Effect has become our current reality where your iPhone video can make national news.

Know that when you make a prediction you’re intrinsically ahead of your time – and most likely will get disapproval and pushback. No worries. Time will bear you out. The important thing is to stand by your word, continue to accumulate evidence and keep touting your prediction during your media appearances. Thought leadership marketing is a process, not a one time event.

3. Shape thinking.

Keep up on current events. Thought leaders can comment on national radio and TV and in print on events as they happen. They are the first people the media call to put a story in perspective, to help shape thinking. They are often the people who pose the questions to ponder. They don’t necessarily have all the answers. What they have is a point of view that helps others to consider consequences, options, and directions to difficult or perplexing problems. This type of thought leadership marketing is organic and evolves naturally as the thought leader continues to hone his thoughts and message.

Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, often comments on political and social problems such as how public higher education is being starved which will result in a shrinking middle class. His clearly expressed and statistically well-supported opinions are regularly heard on MSNBC and NPR. He’s a great example of someone who is personal, energetic, and captivating. I’m particularly endeared by how he bounces up when he can’t contain his energy as he delivers his message.

Your delivery and demeanor is every bit as important as the words you speak and can influence people subconsciously. Thought leaders are aware of how they are being perceived and work on refining their inner consciousness and outer appearance. How can you start to shape a conversation that’s at the heart of your business or industry and at the same time reflect who you are and what you think?

4. Have a philosophy.

Have you noticed how many people have written a manifesto? It’s kind of becoming de rigueur. But many aren’t worth reading. They are trite or light. Your audience wants to know not only what you believe, but what you believe in. They want a philosophy that dives into their deepest longings — things that they feel that haven’t been expressed directly in a way that they can understand.

Manifestos are a sort of formalized philosophy. Wikipedia defines philosophy as “In more casual speech, by extension, ‘philosophy’ can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.

I love TED favorite Brene Brown’s The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto, her leadership manifesto and my friend, photographer/writer Andrea Scher’s Superhero Manifesto. They are heartfelt, revere beauty and are holy without pretention.

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During every media appearance you want to make sure that your philosophy comes through loud and clear in a story, vignette or example so your audience has a sense of who you are. One of my favorite sayings is by Gandhi, “My life is my message.”

When everything you do, say, are and think from your words to your website is in alignment then you’re completely congruent and your life becomes your message. This is what I have my clients and sound bite course participants put into practice before ever sending a press release out to the media. Often publicity hopefuls want to rush their offer to the media before all the pieces are in place. And that’s a big mistake. A reputation is easy to ruin and hard to regain.

In her media appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Brene Brown told a story about her daughter, Ellen. To my best recollection she said that Ellen’s teacher called her up to tell her she could tell whose daughter Ellen was by how she handled an incident in art class. As I remember it the teacher said, “You’re messy.” Ellen sat up straight and said, “No, I’m not messy. I’ve just made a mess.”

Brown told this story to illustrate a point about self-talk and not calling ourselves names or saying derogatory things about the core of us, but to focus on behavior instead of being. It shows you that Brown is walking her talk by transmitting her values and behaviors to her daughter and it gives you a sense of who she is. Your philosophy should shine through your stories in a natural way in every media appearance.

5. Spearhead a movement.

My client, journalist and author David Sheff who wrote the #1 New York Times best-selling book Beautiful Boy, just wrote his second book called Clean, Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. The title itself is an opinion. Sheff thinks that addiction is the worst problem in the U.S. today. You can tell immediately that he’s serious about this topic and wants to make an impact on this epidemic.

On his website he has a link to sign a petition to send to President Obama to end the war on drugs and declare war on addiction. Right next to that he has a link to an organization called Brian’s Wish to pull people together into a national movement to end addiction.

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Sheff believes that we’re fighting the wrong war and he is making his opinion known – backed with five years of research and facts. This is thought leader marketing at its best.

He’s just started his book tour and has already been on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, NPR’s Fresh Air and Weekend Edition to discuss his views and to shift American opinion with the facts, stories and statistics in his book, speeches, and media appearances.

I media trained him to insure that he incorporated his most important points into every interview since he especially wanted to talk about this new movement.

We also wanted to make sure he could stand firm on his controversial beliefs when challenged. We practiced worst-case scenario questions and surprise ones too so he could maintain his equanimity and stay on point during each media appearance.

The media is interested in people who have inspired a movement. It shows that the topic has enduring value and interest if a substantial number of people have joined it. Spearheading a movement is so much more interesting than just claiming you have a big following. A movement shifts thought into action to create real and lasting change.

6. Be controversial.

Another client of mine, Dr. Sara Gottfried, a Harvard trained integrative physician, science nerd, yogini and author of the New York Times best-sellers The Hormone Cure, and The Hormone Rest Diet speaks out on the overuse of pharmaceuticals for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. She says of women dealing with hormonal issues such as depression, lack of sleep, weight gain, mind fog, low sex drive, “You won’t find the answer in the bottom of a pill bottle.”

Gottfried takes a stand against the practice many physicians have to medicate their patients to appease the problem without seeking the core issue or root cause that’s the source of the complaint. Instead she advocates lifestyle shifts: “How to think, eat, move and supplement.”

Gottfried_LI

Once you take a strong stance you can expect to be pitted against someone with the opposite view during your radio or TV interviews – because friction makes for good TV. Audiences love to see people who have opposing views that might even provoke a tiff, because sparks fly and unexpected things happen — which equal good ratings.

If you want to be controversial you also need to be prepared to be challenged and able to stay on message with equanimity and grace no matter how forceful or hostile the host or other guests become.

7. Play both sides.

While you can choose to be controversial, you can also choose to appoint yourself the voice of reason and examine both sides of an issue. Susan Freinkel, a journalist who wrote the book, Plastic: a Toxic Love Story, began an experiment that turned into an investigation of how plastic affects our behavior, our environment and our lives. The premise: To go one day without touching anything plastic. What she discovered? It was impossible — starting with her toothbrush and toilet.

Instead of taking one side to the story – plastic is evil. She explored how plastic is both a boon and a bane to the way we live in a New York Times Op Ed piece. In one sentence she played both sides of the topic: “In other words, plastics aren’t necessarily bad for the environment; it’s the way we tend to make and use them that’s the problem.” Op Ed pages thrive on people who take a strong stand on one side of an issue as well as those who can shed light on both sides in an intelligent, thoughtful or provocative way.

In our media coaching sessions together Freinkel and I focused on stories about how certain plastics are negatively effecting our health, children, land and seas, and also which plastics are safe and useful and help save lives.

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On Fresh Air, she discussed both sides of this fiery debate with a level head. In other media appearances she backed up her findings with solid statistics and also by moving fascinating facts into the conversation like: “The average person is never more than three feet from something made of plastic.” And, “In 1960, the average American consumed 30 pounds of plastics a year. Today, just 50 years later, Americans consume on average 300 pounds a year.” Here is something a bit startling: “Just because a plastic is made of plants doesn’t make it ‘green.’”

By moderating the positives and negatives, by sharing information not widely known and educating us, and by using stories and statistics, you can become a trusted neutral source for change.

8. Coin a term.

During her appearance on The Ricki Lake show Dr. Sara Gottfried reached into her prop basket and pulled out a gleaming diamond Tiara, put it on her head and offered it to Lake, who said she didn’t want to take it off. Gottfried called taking uninterrupted time for yourself, Tiara Time.™ It’s catchy and easy to remember. Can’t you just imagine saying to your BFF, “I need some Tiara Time™ right NOW.”

9. Declare your vision.

Your vision is how you see the world in the future. It’s what you’re aspiring to in the big picture. It incorporates how you are going to serve. For example, I’d like to see Aikido, a type of Japanese Martial Arts, which I’ve been training in for five years, incorporated into every school in the world.

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The principles of Aikido, The Way of Harmony, work as a way to polish the spirit, to turn lead into gold. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!” I believe that, through this practice we can eradicate bullying and practice respect, compassion, and self-mastery on a daily basis in our hearts, homes, schools, and communities. My dream is to combine physical self mastery with verbal and emotional mastery so every child in the world can: Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song(tm).

Declaring your vision during a media interview moves it out in a big way into the public eye. Not only have you taken a stand but you give thousands or millions of people a chance to take a stand with you. That in itself creates powerful change.

The point of being a thought leader isn’t just to get more media appearances, more sales, more followers, or more money. It’s an opportunity to make great shifts inside yourself and out in the world. So if you aspire to taking yourself and your business forward in small or big ways, then focus on these nine things. And even if it isn’t in your nature to be on national TV or to gain an international platform, just pondering these points will give you clarity for your business as you grow and change.