Blogging is the key to becoming a valuable resource for your followers. Blogging is the hub for the majority of your online presence, providing valid links.

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Suggested Reads – June 2015 – Blogging

blogging - how, why

Here are this month’s pick of 4 helpful articles to help you learn more about increasing the online presence of your business.

This collection focuses on BLOGGING.

Blogging can be the source for the majority of your posts when trying to build your online presence. Once your blog is created and published, all your other platforms can be filled with relevant, useful posts that direct your audience back to your website. Read more

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Suggested Reads – May 2015 – Content Marketing

 

content marketing

Here are this month’s pick of 4 helpful articles to help you learn more about increasing the online presence of your business. This collection focuses on content marketing. Content marketing, in my opinion, is the source of practically your entire efforts in building online presence. Once your content is created and published, all your other platforms can be filled with relevant, useful posts.

Read more

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Know, Like, Trust

I recently sat in on a presentation by Dana D’Orsi, business & lifestyle coach, motivational speaker and the creator of The Savvy Success System™.  She gave us so much to think about in while speaking about “Yuck-Free Marketing”.

My main takeaway?  “You are in the business of marketing your business”.  She told us that right now, there are people who need us.  It is our duty to help them find us! Therefore, marketing is not what you do to sell your goods or services, it’s something you do FOR your potential clients.

This made me think harder about how much I believe that becoming the resource is THE KEY for increasing social media success. We will want to be constantly be on the lookout for great pieces to share that relate to our area of expertise.  We want to have a way to let people know that when they have a question about anything in our realm of interest, we would have some information to share with them that might help.

I recently read an article on one of MY favorite resources, Copyblogger.  The article,  30 Ways to Build the “Know, Like and Trust” Factor that Grows an Audience shares 10 ways to get known online, 10 ways to build likeability online, and 10 factors that build trust with your audience.

My favorite takeaways from this article:

Get Known:

  • Once you’ve identified who your audience will be (buyer persona), make sure to use content and engagement to position yourself as the authority in your niche
  • Build relationships with key influencers
  • Consider guest blogging

Build Likeability:

  • Be authentic and real with your unique voice
  • Become involved in two-way conversation
  • Share content and promote others.

Build Trust:

  • Be consistently relevant and good
  • Incorporate testimonials
  • Give away a free taste of some of our best stuff

When everything else is equal, people will do business with someone who they

These kinds of results do not come quickly, nor do they come easily for most. We need to make sure that we are consistently providing value, positioning ourselves as THE GO TO.

I would like to share that I have found it so much easier and more enjoyable to market my self since I changed my outlook.  I am certain that the services I provide ARE what small, local businesses are looking for.  I have decided that I will NOT treat all of my clients the same, but will partner with each one separately to provide unique and individual care tailored to their own needs.  Once I made that commitment to myself and to my clients, everything else has become so much more enjoyable and effective.

I challenge you to do the same.  Become the Resource.  There ARE people out there looking for YOU.

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Suggested Reads -February 2015 – Online Presence

read about increasing online presence

Here are this month’s pick of 4 helpful articles to help you learn more about increasing the online presence of your business.

1. 10 Successful Facebook Marketing Examples

successful facebook marketingAs Facebook news feed continues to change, it’s important to figure out how to make the platform work for you. This article shares tips to incorporate their tactics into your own Facebook marketing plan.
Read this article in the Social Media Examiner.

Read more

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Improvement

In which I answer “What do I think should be improved?”.

As I continue this challenge as a personal journey for self-actualization, I will focus on what I think should be improved in myself from a professional standpoint.  This could be uncomfortable, I suppose.  If I acknowledge that something should be improved, I will have to take ownership of actually improving it.  If I haven’t already addressed it, it’s probably something I didn’t really want to deal with anyway.

Hmmmm.  always improvement needed, in many areas, I suppose.  Which one will I own up to here?

I will go with time-management  My friend, Tamara Myles, has taught me that time-management is actually choice-management. She states that we all have exactly the same amount of time each day.  It’s how we choose to use our time that is the important thing. So, I will have to edit my statement to say that I probably should work on fine-tuning my choice-management.

I think I like to think that I am a wonderful multi-tasker.  Fact is, at the end of the day, I am not always exactly certain that I accomplished as much as I thought I would or should.  On the other hand, free-forming through my day does bring me to some interesting places.  I think it must be my constant quest for knowledge that brings me to so many different sources of information.  That’s probably how I ended up as a social media professional after all.  In addition to wanting to connect people to other people and their services, I want to know everything that’s going on – all of the time.

Again, in keeping with my intent for this exercise, I will set my intention to improving my choice management to result in better time management.  I believe that this will help me to feel in control of the direction that my work will take me.

time management

Thank you, #YourTurnChallengeSeth Godin and Winnie Kao. This challenge has been quite valuable to me so far.  Taking a few minutes each day to review where I am and where I want to be is helping me to set lasting intentions.

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Getting to My Turn

Walking

Second installment in the #YourTurnChallenge in which I answer “What is important to you?”

Disclaimer – As this is a website about building online presence, and about my professional work, and often, about my dog – please know that it is to be assumed that my family, friends and memories are of utmost importance to me.  They are just not what I discuss on this blog.

When I answer this Your Turn Challenge question this way today, it is because the Challenge has already started to make me think more clearly about my professional persona.  Yesterday, I wrote about my intention to work as who I absolutely am. I mentioned that talking things over with friends and strangers seemed to help clarify that intent.  But here’s where the deal was sealed.

It was Friday.  It had been over 3 weeks since I had spent any time at all on the trails with Kenai.  She had just experienced 3 weeks of a house full of visitors and of being tortured by rompings, teasing and razor-sharp teeth of her new puppy-sister, Stella, a 4 month old bloodhound pup. I had been thinking long and hard about which direction to take with my business. We were both overdue for a good long hike.

As we entered Borderland State Park at West Side Trail, I was thinking about the Your Turn Challenge I had just committed myself to do.  I had put it out there on Twitter, so I guess I was committed.

And there it was – My Turn.My Turn - #yourturnchallenge

This is the beginning of the path where I look up and realize how wise I was to lace up my Keen hiking boots, don the gloves and ear-warmers, grab the leash and head outside with Kenai. This is where I turn toward the next hour of clarity.

My Turn – where I realized that being who I absolutely am – where I can let go of others’ expectations and simply focus on what it is I do best and enjoy the most.

What is important to me?

It is important to me to keep a keen sense of self in which I am providing service, insight and wisdom to those with whom I partner.

kenai, black german shepherd dog, gsd. helping me on my challenge.It is very important to me to take walks in the woods with my dog.

 

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Transition and Intention

Transition.

First installment in the #YourTurnChallenge in which I answer “Why am I doing the Your Turn Challenge?”.

I have always asserted that transition is a very subtle, but extremely compelling state of being.  I am not even referring to big transitions like buying a house or starting a new job. I think that even the small transitions are worthy of our attention.

At my house, December was a month filled with transitions.  I was blessed with so much household activity and energy.  Our annual latke making party resulted in 2 nights filled with family, friends and oniony, oily aromas. I was thrilled ( and I truly mean this when I say this) to have over 20 house guests stay over on the second latke eve.  My kids’ friends bring wonderful energy and creativity to Buttonwood Farm. A last-minute change of plans brought my eldest home from California to spend the last week of December with us. My home was full of energy and light.

As January approached, life settled back to normal. This was not necessarily a bad thing. Having the time to catch up on my professional reading, webinars, etc would seem like it was the right thing to do.  But I found that I was becoming more anxious.  I had feelings of self-doubt. I thought that, perhaps, I should be doing more – pushing more.  Comparing my self to others began to weaken my self-esteem and my own resolve.

I spent the first week or two in January talking with old friends, as well as folks I had just met, about this particular sense of coming to a path in my profession that was asking me to go one way or another. I found that by voicing my ideas, my concerns, my fears, I was able to gain a bit of clarity in to the direction that would guide me to the place where I am able to live, work and play as the person I truly am.  I was putting pressure on myself to do what others in the social media marketing field are doing in the form of self-promotion. I have come to the realization that the services that I offer as a personalized guide for increasing online presence are the essence of my professional self. I have made it my intention to be a teacher, a guide, for those small business owners who are passionate about their own work and would like to communicate their range of products and services on the internet. Teaching these folks to be a resource, to be able to identify and communicate their own personal brand, to share and engage

 I have made it my intention...

I will continue to create those symbiotic relationships with my clients in which we learn more about each other’s area of expertise and work within that knowledge to build up their empowerment while increasing their presence. In addition, once I have learned a good amount about their business, I will be better able to identify their challenges, and at that point have the insight as to which social media tasks they might consider outsourcing in order to continue their online growth while focusing on their own strengths and talents. I am committed to meeting my clients where they are, and sharing the next part of the path together.

Why am I doing the Your Turn Challenge?

I am doing the Your Turn Challenge as a week-long exercise to help me find clarity in my professional path, as well as to become more comfortable and prolific in my blogging.

 

 

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Is there a simple way to get more people to read your content?

It’s the first thing I will tell someone who wants to increase their online presence: “You need to create content!”  In my opinion, content on a website is the foundation to every other avenue of online existence.  Once the content is there, you can proceed to utilize it in unlimited ways. You will be able to extract the ‘yummy nuggets” to use on Facebook, Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more.  Each blog post or website landing page can provide you with any number of posts.  Add images and you are well on your way to being able to make the content freely available to your audience.

But – this won’t necessarily make your audience actually read the content.  And, you can be very sure they will absolutely not read it if the content is boring, ordinary, too dense. Not only will they not read this content, they will likely avoid clicking through to your content in the future, as well.

content people will read

A recent article on the Copyblogger, 8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content, addresses exactly that challenge.  In this article, Pamela Wilson empathizes with those of us who spend hours agonizing over every phrase, every word…. working so hard to try to be clever, insightful, snarky, smart.  After all of that attention to detail, we do finally publish our article only to find that nobody reads them.  We receive no comments, no shares, no applause.  Pamela suggests that we could be writing less, but styling our text to make it easier to read.

In this age of the 2.7 second attention span, we need to get our readers to move out of ‘scan’ mode and into ‘read and interact’ mode.  We will need to structure our posts to be easily digested by breaking them up in to bite-sized portions.  Try constructing your paragraphs with the conclusion stated first, with the supporting comments following. Help your readers decide at which point they will want to get in close to learn more.

Here are some of the design elements outlined in the Copyblogger article: Read more

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Personal Branding – Be Better at Teaching

Have I ever mentioned Marcus Sheridan to you?

One day, I was hiking Split Rock Trail at Borderland State Park while listening to one of my favorite podcasts from The Social Media Examiner. This day, Michael Stelzner was interviewing Marcus Sheridan of Rock River Pools and The Sales Lion.

Marcus Sheridan passionately asserts that blogging is essentially about teaching the people about your self and your industry. He says that it is important for your business to be better at teaching than anyone else in the world. All we had to do was to answer every question that our clients had ever asked!  We had to have searchable content that answered the exact query that a user might type into Google. Brilliant! Listen to the podcast.

personal branding

Honestly, I had to stop at the top of one of the trails to email my clients to tell them about this revelation!

Last month, I had the amazing good fortune to sit in on Marcus Sheridan’s presentation at Inbound 2014. The energy in the room was a cross between an evangelistic revival meeting and a rock concert. He had us all drinking the Inbound Marketing Kool-Aid!

The number one question he wanted us to answer on our website?

How much?  

So I did.

I came directly home and wrote a blog that outlines the many variables which will affect how much social media services cost.  Then, I added my own pricing structure on my “what I do” page.  The process was strangely liberating.

Marcus Sheridan and me

As you may already realize, I am passionate about helping my connections create their authentic online presence and their personal branding strategy.  Helping folks who are in my ‘tribe’, my ‘circles’, my ‘network’, learn about and use the tools available to them ultimately strengthens the reach for all of us.

I am very excited to start offering group social media sessions to be able to teach new skills and resources to local entrepreneurs.  Social media, contact relationship management, e-newsletters, website upkeep will be among the topics covered in these group sessions.  Learn more.

More on Social Media and Personal Branding

 

 

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How Much Will Social Media Services Cost?

Have you reached that point? Have you ever said “Who has the time to manage a Facebook or Twitter account?”  Have you said it enough times that you are finally ready to consider using a social media coach or hiring social media services.  If so, I am sure that the first question you had to ask was, “How much will social media services cost?”

Cost of Social Media Services
And of course, as always, the answer is “It depends”.  You see, social media marketing, inbound marketing and digital communications help can come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  You would really need to take a look at what it is your company wants and needs.

What are your goals for your social media journey?  Are you trying to build brand awareness?  Will you be trying to engage an audience to build a community? Is your goal to generate sales or leads?  Will you be utilizing your personal brand to build your business brand?  Will others in your organization be taking ownership of any parts of the program?

Read more

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Establish Trust

trustIt’s so exciting to find an online resource where I can just keep learning more and more each time I visit their website.  It’s funny, I follow the Social Media Examiner with Michael Stelzner.  It’s a great website/blog/resource for folks in business, but at first, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to  take the site seriously.  It has a cutesy cartoon safari-guy logo, lots of info-graphics and just a bunch of busy-ness happening on the site.  But all of that aside, it really does have content that I find I am consistently referring to.

Today, I stumbled upon the entry entitled, “Establishing Trust: How to Build Relationships with Social Media“.  This is a very comprehensive entry on just that – establishing trust with in your cyber-reach.

Topics include:

  • How social media has changed over time
  • Good email marketing vs bad email marketing
  • It’s not the platforms that fail, it’s the community – and thus, how to make your social media audiences count
  • How to establish your cyber-reach
  • How to gain trust online –  That’s the nugget I liked the most.  They say that the formula for gaining trust is:
    • Be helpful
    • Do something for the other person
    • Ask for nothing in return
Michael Stelzner’s conversation with the ever-compelling Chris Brogan is very informative and easy to listen to.   I guess that’s the point of it all, isn’t it.

To learn more, visit the Social Media Examiner Website, and by all means, check out Chris Brogan’s website, as well.

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5 Habits You Need to Adopt to be Effective on Social Media

5 habits

An article recently published by Anton Koekemoer on Memeburn.com outlines his views on the 5 habits one should adopt to be effective on social media.

He lists these habits as:

1: Start the day with a cup of social media –
 What are you reading with your morning cup o’ ?  Consider reading digital content to find good stuff to share with your audience.  Having another cup o’ later in the morning?  Share more info.

2: How do you look at the information that passes by you each day? – Filter your input and consider what would make good content in your social media avenues.  Keep notes and refer back to them, or better yet – Tweet, Post or update right away.

3. Blogging on weekends – or whenever you have free blocks of time. (pre-schedule blogs out in to the future)  Blogging is one of the best ways of getting found online.
.” A blog can increase your credibility, build awareness, improve your organic SEO rankings, and it’s a powerful communication channel that you can use to engage with your target audience.”  However, it can be time-consuming. Refer to  Koekemoer‘s article for a few good tips on getting it done!

4: Small updates – when it suits you…..

5: Take it with you –  With smartphones and tablets you might use your social media platforms where you are, when you are thinking of it.  Engage, respond, share.

Koekemoer summarizes with this: to have “…..social media in your everyday life it’s important that you stay consistent with your updates and connect with your target audience to increase your visibility on the social web. By using social media on a daily basis, posting updates when you have a break, blogging over the weekend, and by looking at the world from a different perspective, it will help you get your business on the social web.”

This is Good Stuff!