Last week I spoke at East Bay Women’s Network to a group of wonderful women attended who were curious about how to promote their businesses and themselves. It had been a long time since I’d given a “speech” as I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from speaking engagements or other public events.
My stomach was roiling that morning as I drove the hour to Alameda and before that I’d had weeks of worry, nightmares, and plenty of time to fret about the actual talk.
Afterward many women came up to thank me and tell me what they loved about my talk.
There was one man in the room. But he had no interest in complimenting me.
He wanted to criticize me so bad he could hardly wait his turn.
“I don’t know if you saw me sleeping in the back,” he started out.
“Nope. Didn’t notice,” I said, wondering why someone would bring that to my attention.
He then battered me with questions leading up to his punch line which was designed to tear me down, so he could tell me everything I’d done wrong. My stomach sank and my face fell. My first thoughts: I’m such a failure. I’m a stinky speaker. Why did I accept this gig? What was I thinking?
Then I breathed, relaxed my tummy, let it go and stayed open.
Eventually, he got to his point which was that I didn’t tell a signature story to let the group know who I was. “Oh gosh, I’ve got about 5 signature stories that I’ve told so many times I’m tired of them. I wanted to try something new.”
“Sure,” he said. “But WE haven’t heard any of them.”
He was right. I teach telling your signature story in every media appearance and when appropriate, your speaking engagements. The “why you do what you do” story.
I was out of practice. I had forgotten.
I thanked him and packed up my things. Point taken.
What to do you do when you receive uninvited criticism in person or on the Internet?
I recommend asking yourself these 3 questions (and then doing this last thing – which is the hardest).
1. Consider the source.
Is this person a nutball? If so, dismiss their rant without another thought. Don’t let it sink into your skin for a second.
When a friend had a very revealing piece published in the New York Times the editor warned her to expect a backlash from Internet trolls. She and I discussed not even reading the hurtful replies so she could revel in the glory of achieving her dream. We batted around the idea that later when she had some distance and perspective, she might scan them for ideas to write another article based on the responses she elicited, thus using them for the positive. Distance creates perspective and allows you to see things more “objectively,” and less personally.
2. Is there something I can learn here?
Is there a kernel of truth in anything this person says? Is what they say worth examining so I can improve myself, my course, my talk etc.? If so, great. If not, move on.
3. Did what they said/wrote trigger an unresolved wound?
If you find yourself becoming hurt, angry, embarrassed, ashamed, or experiencing a strong feeling arising, take a few breaths to steady yourself and come back to center in the moment. Later, examine what touched the nerve. The event can show you where there is still work to be done to let go of past patterns that we all have or harbor. Consider tapping to resolve challenging issues.
The hardest part? Staying open. To hear the truth, or someone’s version of it, and not react. Or, if you react, don’t judge your response just let it go so you can listen and assess the situation.
The second hardest part is to ignore the hurtful words and not let them lodge in our hearts and close us down.
There is a time and place to just ignore the offending party. Not give them or their words any energy at all. If you’re up for an “advanced” practice, send them a blazing bolt of love from your heart to theirs. Shoot it straight in. We are all hurt somewhere and if you can soften even a little consider that an accomplishment.
BONUS: Use hurtful words to open an interesting discussion. I witnessed an Instagram influencer do this when she raised over 50k to help a single mom of two in her congregation get a car, apartment and get started on a new life in an unfamiliar city.
It was quite amazing to see all the support her IG community gave and to watch the pot of gold grow. Then came the naysayers who accused her of doing it for the money. None of which she kept, by the way. So she shared the hurt and gave her followers the opportunity to discuss the negative comment and to give her even more support for her good deed, which they did.
Some people make it their mission to make you feel small. Ignore them. Others are devoted to finding infinite ways share in order to inspire you to feel good. Embrace them.
To make a practice of celebrating others and bringing joy I recommend Sherry Richert Belul’s new book, Say It Now: 33 Ways to Say I LOVE YOU To the Most Important People in Your Life.
If you’re in the Bay Area I invite you to join us for an in-person workshop with Sherry where she’ll lead us through how to make a Love List on May 11 in Alameda. I’d love to meet you!
- There are three things that I can always count on to bring me waves of pleasure, delight and deep satisfaction.
A kiss from my sweetheart.
A square of dark chocolate.
Oh, Pinterest. How I love you. I could spend hours prowling through your copious collections of perfectly-styled meals, curated outfits, far-flung destinations and inspirational quotes. (And sometimes… I do!)
For those of you who have yet to discover Pinterest, it’s a social media site that allows you to create beautiful “boards” by “pinning” images from other people’s boards… adding images from other websites on the Internet… or even uploading them, yourself.
It’s bizarrely addicting, and that intense pleasure can be put to good use because…it’s a powerful tool to generate tons of excitement about your business offerings — excitement that can lead to sales.
Think of it as a visual press release that you don’t need to send to the media.
Here’s how to use Pinterest to get out of this world results… while promoting a product, a service, an experience, a book or just… yourself.
Pinterest + A Product
Benjamin Moore is a company that sells something most people don’t get particularly excited about: paint.
But with this stunning Pinterest board, the smart team at Benjamin Moore has curated a collection of unique and colorful doors from around the world… while including a subtle reference (and link) to the company’s line of exterior house paint to “make a stunning first impression with a beautiful front door.”
Staring at this board, all I can think is, “My door is incredibly boring. It needs some gorgeous new paint, ASAP!”
Benjamin Moore’s mission = accomplished. No big smarmy pitch. No begging for business. Who doesn’t want to walk through a beautiful door, sigh, and say, “I’m home.”
You try it: Create a Pinterest board with curated images (tasty gluten-free recipes, summer nail polish trends, romantic wedding hairstyles, family game night inspiration) and then include a link to your (related) product in the Pinterest board description.
Pinterest + A Service
Simply Marketed is an agency that provides marketing and social media services to restaurants, non-profits and small businesses.
Peek at their Pinterest profile, and you’ll spot several boards packed with inspiring marketing tips and advice.
There’s a board called “Unique Marketing Ideas,” another one called “Logos We Love” and another called “Our Clients” featuring impressive portfolio samples.
Lots of terrific content for business owners who are hunting for fresh marketing ideas (zing! Those are the agency’s ideal customers.)… plus a clear description of what Simply Marketed can offer… and a link back to their website.
You try it: If you’re a service provider, try thinking about each Pinterest board as a “blog post” and fill it with helpful tips and advice on a particular topic… that can help your ideal clients.
Pinterest + An Experience
Mirella Saraswati is a yogi on a mission… to inspire YOU to come to her yoga retreat in Ibiza.
She has created a stunning Pinterest board filled with “Ibiza Inspiration” — photos of the landscape, the food, the drinks, local shops, and of course, that exquisite aquamarine water.
Customers who are thinking about investing in this experience will swoon over the imagery… and be far more likely to say, “Yes yes yes!”
You try it: Planning a retreat, workshop, webinar, seminar, class or conference? Curate images that inspire you — flowers you want to purchase for the entryway, candles for the dinner table, notebooks and pencils for each guest, photos of the venue, and anything else that evokes the spirit of the experience. Yes, it works for an online experience as much as an in-person one.
Pinterest + A Book
Leading up to the launch of her first book, 50 Ways To Say You’re Awesome, author Alexandra Franzen created a Pinterest board full of encouraging advice on how to tell someone, “Hey… I think you’re awesome!”
The board included illustrations taken directly from her book, along with other photos that expressed the message of the book. (Like a cake with the word “YAY!” baked inside. Adorable.)
Here’s another great example: to promote her book Happier At Home, author Gretchen Rubin created a Pinterest board that featured a simple question: “What makes you happy at home?” Her board features calming, joyful images of things that make Gretchen happy… along with a few carefully chosen images of her book, including the cover design.
You try it: Create a Pinterest board that features photos of your book, quotes plucked out of your book, behind-the-scenes book photos (like a snapshot of you at a book launch party)… along with other images that sum up the essence of the book.
Pinterest + YOU
Gala Darling is one of the world’s most-read fashion bloggers — and the co-founder of a program called The Blogcademy, where she trains amateurs bloggers who want to “go pro.”
Gala has built a remarkable “lifestyle brand” with legions of fans who adore her unique twist on style, home decor, travel, love and friendship.
Her Pinterest universe is full of images that evoke her unique aesthetic and worldview — including boards devoted to Style Influences (quirky and offbeat, as expected), New York City (her hometown), and Tattoo Love (she has numerous tattoos — part of her signature look).
You try it: Build a collection of boards all about… you! Your home. Your work. Your life. Your style. Your favorite foods. Places you’d love to visit. Anything you like. When you’re building a “lifestyle brand,” anything goes.
With 250 million users worldwide, Pinterest is a serious social media heavyweight.
But what’s particularly intriguing is that Pinterest users spend an average of 14 minutes on Pinterest, per visit. To draw a stark comparison, most visitors will spend 15 seconds (or less) on your website homepage.
Pinterest is a place where people cozy up with a warm cup of tea, metaphorically speaking (or literally!)… lean in… and go deep.
As a business owner, Pinterest is the perfect platform for enchanting potential customers with a world of color, beauty and magic… while holding their attention for a remarkably long time.
If you’d like to learn more about how to create, publicize and monetize your own Pinterest boards (works for ANY niche or type of business!) then hop on over to this free training to learn from the Pinterest Kings, Daniel Hall + John Kremer, who have created their own Pinterest empire and taught others to do the same right here.
By Guest Blogger Gina Rubinstein
Every time you turn on the radio or TV, you see a so-called expert being interviewed. The Today Show, CNN, Talk Radio, local morning shows and all the rest rely on these experts to give background and insight on the hot topics of the day. For these experts, the result of being on TV or radio is that their BOOK SALES SOAR, they become an IN-DEMAND SPEAKERS, and one media booking leads to more.
This can be you.
As a TV producer, I can tell you from experience that we are always on the hunt for guests and experts who shine. Actually, we are desperate to find smart and funny people.
In my career, I’ve cast thousands of people for talk shows and other types of reality TV, and said “No” to many thousands more. I’ve coached many authors and speakers who were looking to promote themselves and their products on TV so they could do the best job possible. As the one you must get past, the one who says “Yes” or “No,” I can tell you what you need to get booked AND THE MISTAKES THAT CAN TORPEDO OPPORTUNITIES.
Here are the top 7 tips to getting booked on TV:
1. Be authentic: So many people try to be what they think is “right” and come across stilted and rehearsed instead. I coached my client Judy Carter on how to be authentic and within 30 seconds of being on TV with Marie Osmond, Marie sat on her lap because she liked her so much.
2. Connect your expertise to a current hot topic. In order to get the attention of mass media, you need to build a bridge from your expertise to what’s hot in the news. A client of mine who wrote a book on parenting got onto a show about legalizing marijuana because she had advice for parents who want to say “yes” to pot for themselves and “no” to pot for their kids.
3. Have a compelling elevator pitch – In three or four sentences I need to know who you are, why I should listen to you, what problem you’re going to solve, how if affects me and what fresh ideas you have as solutions. A client of mine found herself in an elevator with a radio producer, gave her pitch, and by the time the elevator got to her floor she was booked on the producer’s show.
4. Talk in sound bites: In our ADD, double latte culture, no one has the time or interest to listen to someone who rambles on or goes off on tangents. In order to be media presence you need to express yourself concisely, in a few short, punchy sentences.
5. Make your points using compelling stories: Your stories give your message the one thing that facts can’t — heart. You need to emotionally connect with audiences and these stories are the way.
6. Work in your best credentials in a clever way: Nothing is more boring that an arrogant name-dropper. But, it’s important for the audience to know your credentials. I teach my clients to reveal their credentials in anecdotes that enhance who they are in a natural, unforced way.
7. Have a hot sizzle reel: 90% of the sizzle reels I see have bad audio, are too long, and don’t showcase the expert’s personality immediately. A sizzle reel should be short (3 minutes max, and shorter is better), and should present you as an attractive person who’s an expert in their field and can reach people’s hearts as well as minds. I’ve produced several sizzle reels for clients and all have gotten TV and radio appearances as a result.
Gina Rubinstein is a Los Angeles-based media coach who helps her clients grow their business through the media. For more info go to here. For a free evaluation, please fill out this short questionnaire.
By Guest Blogger Danny Iny
Too many of us fall into the trap of trading time for money.
You may have already launched a product—but had disappointing results. Or you may have created a product that got some traction, but didn’t get the kind of success you’d hoped. Or, you haven’t developed a product yet, but you feel pretty sure you’d like one especially since….
Coaches, consultants, speakers, freelancers… all of us are in the same boat of working for an hourly wage.
Now, for some of us, the hourly wage can be very attractive; if it’s a cage, then it’s one made of gold, and studded with diamonds.
But still, it’s a cage; if we don’t work, then we don’t earn – which means that in some ways, we never get to take a real break and get off that treadmill without a gnawing fear in the back of our minds about what our business will look like when we get back.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way…
Your First (or second) Product: The Secret to Scalable Revenue
There’s a way to escape the time for money paradigm, and it lies within your first digital product.
As freelancers, we often find ourselves daydreaming of that perfect situation where we can walk away from our business for a few days without everything falling apart.
We think about what it would be like to create something that creates huge impact, making the world a better place.
And we think about how wonderful it would be to create that something once, and how easy it would be if it worked behind the scenes, even when we weren’t there.
We dream of vacations on white sandy beaches, holding drinks with tiny umbrellas and laughing with friends as the breeze gently sweeps across the beachfront.
All the while our business hums away quietly in the background, leaving us free to enjoy life.
But as much as we dream of this lifestyle, it’s not something we know how to create.
We aren’t sure how to scale our business outside the bounds of trading more time, or possibly the same time for more money.
You may have thought about building a product, but don’t know how to balance the time you’ll take building it with the money that you won’t be making in the meantime.
It’s a vicious cycle.
What if I told you that there’s a way for you to get paid to create your first product, while virtually guaranteeing that it will be successful?
There is, and when you implement the strategy, you will build a product that scales with ease, and it may not even matter if you’re there to deliver it, once it’s automated.
If Products Are So Great, Why Don’t More People Build Them?
It’s a legitimate question.
Up until now, product creation has been fraught with danger.
Using the standard model of product creation, an entrepreneur might spend months of their time and a serious amount of money slaving away to create what they are sure will be a groundbreaking new product.
The entrepreneur has spent enough time interacting with their audience to know exactly which of their great new ideas will be the best to build out.
They know their audience better than anyone else, after all.
But in the end, most entrepreneurs creating new products will have their offering met with a lukewarm reception, or even worse: silence.
CREATE A PRODUCT BLUEPRINT
The opportunity cost is too high for most people, and for those intrepid enough to break into product creation, failure can be painful and costly.
The problem here is that entrepreneurs base their product creation on an assumption.
And they not only start with an assumption, but they either use faulty reasoning to validate their ideas or don’t validate them at all.
So how do you avoid the assumption trap and create something that your audience really wants, and at scale?
You take a little lesson from the technology industry.
Rapid Prototyping for Training Products
Now that you know why so many others have failed before you, how can you avoid the same fate?
Start by listening to your audience, and using what they tell you to quickly and profitably validate that they want what you’re going to build.
By listening, we don’t mean just skimming over what they say, picking and choosing which pieces seem to validate the ideas you have.
It’s about meeting your client or customer’s deepest needs. You want to figure out what problems they are having, and the exact language that they use to describe that problem.
How do you find out that information?
1. Listen and Validate
The first step is to find out what your audience wants, and quickly test to see if they really want it.
There are several ways that you can listen to your audience that will help you discover what they would pay you to create for them.
- Listen to the questions that your audience sends to you via email. What are they asking for?
- How do they respond to your blog posts? Which posts are they sharing or talking about most on social media?
- The same thing applies to your emails and newsletters: which emails result in a lot of enthusiastic responses or questions?
- You can also “eavesdrop” on conversations on social media to find out which topics are the most discussed.
- Or, you can review comments left on blog posts and forums around the web. What questions are people asking repeatedly?
2. Dig Deeper with Surveys and Interviews
To dig deeper into the problems your audience is facing, you can create a simple survey, asking what their biggest challenge is.
And then, to gather additional information, you can conduct informational interviews with members of your audience or the people who responded to your survey.
These interviews can be conducted over the phone or by video chat. During the interviews, you can go in depth about the topic and the problem they are having.
3. Analyze Your Data
When you have finished your eavesdropping, surveys, conversations and interviews, you should have gathered a lot of data.
Your next step is to analyze the information you collected, looking for patterns and repetition of problem language.
If you have enough data points, and your audience really cares, you have likely just uncovered a problem that your audience is practically begging you to teach them how to fix!
4. Sell a Pilot Version
Finally, you need to validate that your audience will take out their wallets and pay you for the solution to their problem.
The best way to validate your product is to sell a pilot version of the course.
After the pilot, you can then use the outline and student feedback to build out your full product.
The process outlined above means that you will get paid, ahead of time, for creating a scalable product for your audience.
What’s even better is that this post includes both a case study about exactly how this works, and templates that will help you to create this success for yourself!
Case Study: The Course Builder’s Laboratory
At Firepole Marketing, we used this exact model of product creation as we built our soon-to-be-launched program, Course Builder’s Laboratory.
In our case, we had audience members and students in our Audience Business Masterclass come straight out and ask us to solve a problem for them.
We looked at all of the requests that came in and found there was a real pattern.
There were different ways that our audience asked for it, but in the end everyone wanted to know how to teach effectively online, and how to sell their own digital courses.
Then, rather than taking those requests and just building the final product, we used the process we describe in this post to validate that our audience would actually pay for the course.
We ran an initial pilot program called Course Builder’s Bootcamp; these live weekly calls went over what we thought the biggest pain points in terms of building and selling online courses would be. This program lasted six weeks in total.
We received some amazing feedback from the students, and were able to make smart choices about how to build out the final product in a valuable way.
We also ran a second pilot to gain more insight: a higher end in-person weekend in Montreal called Course Builders LIVE. We decided to run the additional pilot because the eventual course we were thinking of building was going to be HUGE.
This in-person pilot was a much smaller group, and allowed for a very intensive, hands-on experience for the students.
We were able to see places in the pilot curriculum where students were asking lots of similar questions, requesting additional features, or getting stuck – so we could fix them for the final version.
Through the two pilots, we were able to really refine the course material for the ultimate product. And we made about $70,000 while we were at it.
How to Do it Yourself, Starting Today
Following the process outlined in this post, you can easily create your first product.
Start by listening to your audience, analyzing the data you gather, and validating the problem that you think they are having.
Then, sell a pilot version of the product.
When you reach out to your audience, you will want to use the same language they use to describe the problem your pilot solves.
If having sales conversations isn’t your strong suit, we have created a set of free templates that will walk you, step by step, through how to get started creating and selling your pilot.
Then, once you’ve sold your pilot, you will deliver the content and gather feedback from your students.
Afterwards, you will use the basic outline of the course material and any student feedback to create your final product.
This final product is your key to scalable revenue.
So, does it feel like it’s time to break out of the hourly wage cage?
Then let’s get started!
We just have one favor to ask of you: send us a postcard from your next vacation!
Danny Iny is the co-founder of Firepole Marketing, and creator of the Course Builder’s Laboratory. For a limited time, he’s giving away a comprehensive “Done For You” swipe kit of email templates that you can copy-and-paste to sell your own pilot course
This is a curated list of the very best posts from top social media peeps. It’s all of THEIR best posts. So you get a giant dose of great tips, tools, strategies, and ideas to start the New Year. Enjoy!
- Buffer’s top 10 most-read posts of 2014
Curious about copy that converts? Want to know the best length of everything online verified by research? You got it.
- Top 10 Social Media Posts of 2014
Get solid strategies from an active social media strategist who walks his talk. Good stuff.
- Digital Marketer’s 10 Most Popular Articles of 2014
Small business alert — you can use the same system that Starbucks and McDonald’s do for their mega campaigns and more….
- Top 8 social media posts of 2013 (doesn’t look like they’ve done 2014).
Who knows what tickles the psyche when it comes to going viral. Check out the most popular posts of last year. Prepare to be astonished. Be sure to check out the crazy Norwegian video.
- Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2014
Trends, Tools, popularity, people, and marketing strategies. Lots to learn and use.
- 10 Types of Images to Boost Your Social Media Engagement
You know that images boost engagement. But, I bet you don’t have all of these in your bailiwick ….
- 10 Best Social Media Tool Posts in 2014
Get hyper productive with these Apps and software. Includes video marketing, Pinterest tools, and plug ins. (Plus, how to get 1000 shares on your blog) from a very reliable source I follow.
- Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts: This Year in Social Media
You’ll want to follow Social Media Examiner you’ll find consistently useful info. Want to generate leads? Create content? Understand Facebook’s metrics? It’s all there.
- 20 Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros
These are tips and tools that got results. We want that, yes?
- 50 Ways to Promote and Market Your Blog PostsYou want your great posts to reach your tribe, to expand your reach. Here’s how. Jeff Bullas’ blog is a regular must read. Always relevant. One of my favs.
BONUS: 19 free social media analytics tools
No budget? No problem. All these tools are yours for the taking. I bet you haven’t heard of some of these terrific online helpers.
ONE CAVEAT: No matter how great your social media presence is your strategy won’t work unless your website does. You’re directing people back to your blog or your website so people who are intrigued by your social media updates can have more than a taste of your great content. Don’t disappointment them by having a website doesn’t look and feel like you, your tweets, pics, and posts. Here are 3 free highest converting home page website templates from Marisa Murgatroyd. You can choose the layout that best suits your personality and goals—so your website and social media messages are aligned.
By Guest Blogger Marisa Murgatroyd
Blink your eyes three times.
That’s 1 second — the amount of time it takes for 10 new websites to hit the internet. (That’s 86,400 new sites each day!)
Holy Christmas! How do you compete against that?
It’s actually easy.
- First, stop following the latest & greatest “web design” trend articles that get put out every year. Web designers can tell you what’s new & what looks good, but they’re rarely experts in what works to CONVERT traffic into results online.
- Second, implement these 8 new conversion trends I’ve identified. (By sticking to whatconverts, you’re guaranteed that you’ll get a return on your investment.)
Here they are, starting with the MOST important one of all. The one trend to rule them all.
1. The World Has Gone Mobile.
Last year, mobile, cell & tablet internet usage surpassed desktop for the first time — up to 67% of people are now visiting you with a small(er) screen.
“So what”, you ask? Well – think about it this way young Padawan.
If YOUR site looks craptastic on smaller screens, what do you think up to 67% of your visitors are going to do?
That’s right — they’re going to hit the back button as fast as their fat fingers can find it.
Without a great mobile experience, all of the hard work you’ve done up until now (and money you’ve spent) will be for nothing because you could be losing up to 67% of your traffic INSTANTLY.
No, I’m not trying to make you feel bad here right off that bat. On the contrary. Take this as a great opportunity to get out ahead of this huge trend and bring in a bunch of new business that are currently visiting you on their tablets from their couch.
Quick plug: I’ve got more information about how to do just that in my upcoming trainings on Jan 14 and 15. It’s free to attend and you can get more info here.
OK – so moving on to the next trends.
2. Big, gorgeous, full-width graphics and videos!
Global internet speeds have increased 2-3x in the last few years, bringing with it demand for more episodes of The Walking Dead, along with demand for more “eye candy”.
This means designers are now featuring large photos, graphics and videos that stretch full-width across a web page – expanding to fill an extra large monitor or shrinking down to fit a small handheld device.
The upside for you is that these large image areas grab your visitor’s full attention helping them focus on the thing you want them to do.
3. Modular Organization of Pages
It’s easier to scroll down a page on mobile devices then it is to click a small button. Web pages are getting longer and making greater use of full-width graphics and backgrounds to organize the page into “modules” that focus visitor’s attention on one concept at a time.
In case you’re wondering, your “So What” factor is this…
Many of us were taught to think about websites one page at a time. But website structure is evolving along with the technology, and we need to start thinking about them one section or module at a time.
(More on that in my upcoming free webinar! Woot!)
4. Sticky Nav. (AKA navigation…)
As pages are getting longer, it takes more time to scroll from the top to the bottom of the page, where the site navigation is usually featured.
Enter the “sticky nav”.
By minimizing the top navigation and allowing it to “stick” to the top of the page as a visitor scrolls, they now have access to the most important pages on your site at any moment in time.
5. Modals, pop-ups & “microinteractions.”
As we’ve already seen, pages are getting longer while attention is getting shorter.
This means it’s become more important to direct your visitors to thet one single action you want them to take at any given time — such as signing up for your email list or scheduling a free call.
For example, a single extra large button in your top banner launches a modal or pop-over focusing your visitors attention exclusively on inputting their name and email address.
Or a well-timed pop-up directs your audience to do the same.
6. Less text, bolder type
Just like it’s predecessor, the newspaper, people scan rather than read when they’re online, often consuming 30% or less of the text on any given page.
Up until now, smart designers have made use of bullet points, numbered lists, headlines, short paragraphs and other ways to chop text up into smaller and smaller pieces.
Now designers are using typography itself to draw attention to the handful of headlines & content that’s truly important.
Google Fonts plus low-to-no-cost type libraries are allowing businesses to craft custom font palettes that allow them to treat content like design – grabbing attention and pulling the reader in – while reducing the amount of text on a page for greater consumption.
7. Cleaner, fresher, flatter, simpler
Websites used to be jammed pixel-by-pixel with textures, graphics, tables and animations.
But the 80s are gone and these dense designs don’t convert well for seamless browsing on smaller screens.
The best sites coming online today make use of the full length (vertical scrolling) and width of the page (full page-width graphics & backgrounds) to create more spacious, modular designs that work on every screen and device.
They’re also making greater use of space and color to create cleaner, fresher designs.
8. Live chat
Only scammers still bury their contact information — social media has created a culture of transparency and accessibility where people demand conversations with businesses before making a purchasing decision.
Easy live chat technology now allows and encourages visitors to interact with business owners the exact moment they have a question, which skyrockets conversion.
PLUS: Jan 14 and 15 Marisa will give a live training on how to apply the ideas above and more to YOUR website.
Join Marisa free to learn the details, plus she’ll show you how you can actually have other people do all the work for you, leaving you free to concentrate on what you do best. (How cool is that?)
(Sign up for her webinar on January 14-15 and download your website templates now)
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?
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.
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?
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss strategy and pricing.
Interested in more tips for social media? Try these:
by Kris Gilbertson
Did you know iTunes has over 1 Billion podcast subscribers?
Tip #1) Podcasting Creates Leverage
With the rise of technology to the tune of over 1 Billion podcast subscribers in just iTunes alone, there is a new age of content curation available for every day entrepreneurs to position themselves in front of the mainstream with your message, programs, products, services, entertainment, and information.
More importantly, technology has allowed you to connect with consumers, and that is more powerful than any other form of marketing out there today.
Stitcher radio has now partners with major brands like GM, Ford, Subaru, Mini-cooper, etc . . . Making it so easy today to easily have mainstream consumers Find and connect with your business and your products!
So imagine this scenario:
Your prospects wakes up, brews their pot of coffee, gets ready for work, and jumps in their car for their 30+ minute commute to work.
And before they have even pulled out of their driveway, they have already – with a simple touch of a button on their dash from Sticher – turned on your podcast to listen to for their enjoyment, entertainment and education on their commute to work.
They are looking for people to help them with problems they have in their life, or solutions they are looking for, or just plain entertainment and to better themselves through personal development.
So now you have their undivided attention.
You become the solo expert that is helping them, and that they’re connecting with and what does that mean for your business?
Increased PROFITS and Revenue!
Tip #2) Podcast Create EPIC Connection
You see the real power of podcasting is the epic connection that happens for you and your business.
The top podcast providers are reporting that the average amount of time a listener will tune into a podcast is for 30+ minutes.
This creates a REAL connection with your listener and what allows you to Build TRUST on autopilot.
So how does that exactly translate into clients for your business?
We only buy from people that we TRUST. The power of the podcast allows you to create EPIC connections on auto-pilot and how you are able to turn listeners into clients from your podcast from the connection you make.
That level of connection is what allows you to stand out in this crowded marketplace – standing out as THE expert for your prospects and listeners.
There are many marketing strategies that can grab the attention of your target audience; however, are they all as effective as you think they are at holding it?
And turning the prospect into a HOT lead for your business?
Tip #3) Podcasting Can Shorten Your Sales Cycle
Today the advertising space today is just plain loud.
As consumers, we are constantly bombarded with noise about new products and services that distract us from the last advertiser we were interested in just 30 seconds ago.
If your website does not captivate someone in less than 10 seconds, they head back into the cyber space black hole, probably never to return to your webpage again.
Most squeeze pages result in less than 5 percent of buyers. A great direct mail campaign produces only about a 3 percent response rate. Radio and TV advertisements are being skipped over. Radio advertisements are being avoided all together following the birth and merger of SiriusXM and Pandora.
So, in a sea of today’s technological advancements, how do you get around that ADD consumer personality and create a loyal, tribe of followers for your brand, message, product, or service?
The answer is Podcasting.
Today’s market is driven by the consumer and in a world where everyone’s voice can be heard through social networks, having a podcast is going to allow you to connect and engage with your clients to keep them extremely satisfied, happy, more loyal than ever, and tweeting your praises to the world for you!
Most importantly, a podcast is the only way to create a one-to-one relationship, with thousands of people at the same time, more than any other form of marketing.
This is exactly why a podcast is going to be your secret weapon for your marketing strategy and allow you to connect, build trust and rapport, with your consumers on auto-pilot and on demand!
Join us for a free master class webinar where Kris actually SHOW us exactly how to use these strategies to get you 5 figure clients and high-powered Lead generation with iTunes
Register now: http://bit.ly/kpodcast
About the Author
Kris Gilbertson is the Best Selling Author of Podcasting for Promotion, Positioning, and Profit, Founder of the www.LifestyleAcademy.com, and host of the popular Business Lifestyle Entrepreneur Podcast.
She is a leading expert in how to create a world-class podcast. Her clients praise their podcast enables them to reach their ideal customer, create a thriving tribe, increase their traffic to their website from over 40%-5000% and do what they love by simply using the power of their voice.
To learn more please head over to www.LifestyleAcademy.com to learn the power of podcasting for your business!
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.