Speaker ~ Trainer ~ Consultant | Marketing, Communication, Relationships, Strategy & Planning

Posts in category Social Media

Do you have a foundation for the business you built?

Do you have a foundation for the business you built?

As a business owner, YOU are the most important asset in your business. In fact, I believe that you are the foundation. It doesn’t matter what you build, if the foundation is rock-solid, it won’t last very long. And as an entrepreneur, you will go down with the business when it falls.

So it is wise and important to build your business with a solid foundation.

According to Dictionary.com, a foundation is:

the basis or groundwork of anything

What makes a solid foundation?

The are 4 key ingredients to a solid foundation to create sustainability for your business. Miss one ingredient and you will lose your opportunity for freedom.

The first ingredient to your foundation is YOU. There is a caveat here, though. The more sustainable your business is, the longer it can survive without you. And since most of us business owners have a business so we can have a life, becoming sustainable is pretty important.

But let’s talk foundation first. After you, what else is necessary?

There are a few other foundational items that are necessary to build a sustainable business.

You need a SHTICK – something that makes your stand out in the crowd.  It’s what you do and your positioning, rolled into one.

You need to be clear about WHO you do it for. I know this sounds obvious, but almost everyone stumbles over this piece at some point. Who do you serve? Why? What is there motivation? These simple answers need to roll off your tongue. And if it’s not a simple answer, you probably don’t have enough clarity here.

You need support. In fact, you need 3 types of support.

Support #1: Operational systems support you when you get sick, when you hire a new team member and when you launch a new program.

Support #2: Your team can include employees, assistants, coaches, advisory board, mastermind partners and even your cheerleaders. You don’t need all those team members, but the more you have supporting you, the easier it will be to get results on the days you don’t feel like it.

Support #3: Self care is what prevents things like adrenal fatigue/burnout and other debilitating illnesses from taking over your life. I heard Deepak Chopra refer to this as Living Luxuriously. I call it, the simple pleasures in life. For me, a glass of wine, waking up to a steamy cup of coffee, a candle-lit bath and watching the Gilmore Girls with my girls are my pleasures.

So I ask, does your business foundation include ALL the required ingredients for success and sustainability?

There’s no such this as a social media strategy

There’s no such this as a social media strategy

Have you created your 2012 marketing plan yet? Do you know some of the specific steps and strategies that you are going to implement this year to achieve your goals?

And where is social media fitting into the picture? wordplay-image

In the last week, I have had three highly respected business owners ask me about creating a social media strategy. And my response is simple: social media is a tool, not a strategy.

“What do you mean?” they said.

What I mean is simple, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and a boatload of other platforms have the potential to garner new visitors to your ideas and even convert the viewers into raving fans and customers.

So if social media can do all that, then why isn’t it considered a strategy?

Social media is what you do to help you achieve the results that you want in your business. You want more visibility for your business online? You want more attendees at your next event? You want to be able to quickly shift complaints into testimonials? Then social media can help you do all these things and more.

It is a tool that can help you achieve:

  • Online visibility
  • List building
  • Increased credibility (and even instant credibility)
  • More speaking opportunities
  • More qualified web traffic to your site
  • Search Engine results (have you “googled” yourself lately?)
  • Networking
  • Promotional partners to help you sell your services
  • Joint venture partners to help you build your business
  • Build a team to help you grow your business
  • Customer support
  • Increased publicity & recognition
  • And so many more results!

So if you have speaking, networking, SEO and advertising as your top strategies for your marketing plan, social media can help you get better results in each of these. Is this starting to make sense?

Now that you have a new awareness and understanding of social media, how are you going to use it to achieve your goals in 2012? Please post a comment below.

Can social media make you money?

Can social media make you money?

For years, this was one of my most popular speaking topics. While I have evolved from conversations about Facebook and Twitter to how turn your friends into profit centers while developing authentic REALationships, the question still remains.

Can you make money hanging out in social networking spaces?

The answer remains an astounding YES!

This last month, you probably saw me share tips and links about creating REALationships and Jumpstarting Your JVs on my various social media platforms.

While I usually fill that program with an average of 70% strategic JVs and partnership referrals, this latest program was not the case. Oh, I still had my referral participants, but more than 1/2 of my paid attendees came directly from Facebook!

Why does this matter, you ask?

Well, let me start by saying that I love my Joint Venture REALationships and partners. But I pay them an affiliate commission to everyone they send over. (and I love writing those commission checks because I am very grateful!)

So when someone clicks on MY links in Facebook….or a comment that links back to my program, I make more money!

Please note that I didn’t just show up one day pitching myself to my social networks. I have spent years building my reputation and relationships here.

And I am continuing the process.

But it does pay off and I wanted to share this little win with you.

So the next time you are wondering if Facebook is worth the time, it can be when its done right!

Do Blog Challenges Really Work?

Do Blog Challenges Really Work?

So in my JV travels this past week, I decided it was time to reconnect with Michele Scism. We met a year ago at Nancy Marmolejos I Heart My Biz event (one that catapulted the most transformational experience of my life, as I have mentioned previously on this blog). We tried to connect after but the timing wasnt right.

As I googled my new friend, I discovered she was just launching another Blog Challenge. And I thought How perfect! Just what I need!

Ultimate Blog Challenge

I already know that daily blogging can double or even triple your traffic to your website in just weeks. And it also increases your credibility as well as your visibility. So why don’t we do this all the time?

For me, it’s habit….and I really don’t like to write. But I will do it anyhow because I know it works!

So here I am, kicking off this blog challenge with my announcement about it.

Want to join me? Everything is always more fun with friends!

Just so you know, I will be finishing up my 25 1/2 written blog posts that I wrote these last few months and haven’t yet posted–content and value driven! I will also share what I have been up to and what I have coming up. And finally, I have decided to use my favorite WordPress App on my iPhone–so the quality of the pictures might not be the best. I will try to fix them later.

But right now, my priority and commitment will be to blog 31 times by the end of the month–and getting something good posted is better than waiting until it is perfect! (Again, I have 25 less-then-perfect posts waiting in the queue…)

Please share your thoughts, comments and ideas as you are inspired.

And heres to creating REALationships via blogging!

#2 Goal for 2009 – Did you make it?

#2 Goal for 2009 – Did you make it?

The first goal that many people active in social media right now have is turning your network into revenue-generating traffic. For tips on how you can achieve that goal in the next 10 weeks, catch our last post.

And here’s the #2 Goal:

2Goal #2:  Spend less time social networking and more time making money!

Here are five tips to save tons of time on your social networking:

  1. Block out 15 minutes each day for this activity
  2. Know what you are doing: posting on walls? Making new connections? Sending birthday wishes? This will help you target your time and not get distracted.
  3. Create a system for what to do and when: accept friend requests on Mondays & Thursdays, respond to messages on Tuesdays & Fridays, build new friends & post on walls on Wednesdays.
  4. Don’t do it yourself! If you have a system, why can’t your VA or even your teen help out?
  5. Turn your virtual friends into real friends! Pick up the phone at least twice each week to talk to some of your new friends. Build those relationships now before you need to sell something. Promotions will be much easier later on.

For more assistance with your social networking to save time, build relationships and start making money, check out the KickStart Coaching program. This program dives into a different topic each month to help use social media to build relationships and even offers private coaching as well.

Social Networking Tip: What have you Stumbled lately?

Social Networking Tip: What have you Stumbled lately?

stumbleupon1StumbleUpon is one of the best-kept secrets in the social networking world. Probably because it’s not really a “networking” tool. SU is a bookmarking tool that was designed to sort and tag favorite sites. It has evolved into a great resource to drive traffic to your site and to build fantastic relationships.

And you get start using this tool in just a couple of easy steps:

1. Go to www.StumbleUpon.com and download the toolbar. It takes a few minutes and will make bookmarking the easiest social media activity you do.

2. Take your “hot JV” list and visit their blogs and web sites. You are looking for valuable content that is relative to your expertise and your audience. When you find a good article or post, give a “thumbs up”. If you are the first person to rate the page/post, then you will also be able to add your commentary.

3. Spend 2 minutes each day reviewing blog posts, articles and videos from your friends and mentors (you should be doing this no matter what social media tools you are using to build your visibility & credibility) and “Stumble” your favorites. Then you can tweet about them and/or share them on Facebook as well.

This “secret” really only takes a minute for each site/article/post you bookmark. The best part is that everything that you rate will also be kept in your account for future reference! The theory is that you will bookmark your “friends” great content and add your commentary and they will do the same for you. Please note your friends may not be active on StumbleUpon, but other great people are. This is a great opportunity to increase your cirle of influence and circulate in new groups!

Social Media Tip of the Week: Using Scribd for more traffic

Social Media Tip of the Week: Using Scribd for more traffic

We have spent the last month discussing how to build content that drives traffic. One of my favorite, high-ranking social media sites is Scribd.com. This is a document hosting site that Google and Yahoo LOVE. In fact, when you upload your press releases, articles, power-points and even excell spreadsheets, the search engines will start scouring and assessing your document for good content almost immediately.

identityscribdlogoScribd is a content sharing site that utilizes some bookmarking and networking features to maximize the reach and build credibility & visibility much faster for you than some other sites.

Scribd is also in the process of adding a sync feature with Twitter and Facebook that will definitely build exposure for them and your content on the site.

Best of all, it only takes about 2 minutes to login and upload your weekly ezine article or your latest free teleseminar presentation to start building quality traffic back to your site.

Social Networking v. Stalking: What’s the difference?

Social Networking v. Stalking: What’s the difference?

A few months ago, I had my good friend Michele PW visiting. We tag-teamed a special workshop teaching people the ins/outs of social media and some web traffic strategies. Because I teach various social media platforms in a variety of my programs, I am very active on some of these platforms.

Facebook and Twitter are my favorites- (I reserve the right to change my mind as new platforms develop AND my social network migrates to new playgrounds).

Back to the story: After the workshop, Michele and I are headed out for dinner. Not being very familiar with downtown Salt Lake City, I decided to ask my “tweeps” (twitter peeps) if they have any suggestions. I get a response from someone and we are off. After, I update my tweeps about our delicious meal and there is some more interaction about restaurants, new items on the menus, and good food. If you know me at all, you know that I am “all about the food!”

So at dinner the next evening, with my family and teenage daughters around the kitchen table, I share this great story about how I asked my tweeps for advice and they came through. I am really LOVING these relationships and the ability to connect virtually with great people (In my opinion, people who love food are great people!).

My 16 year old daughter, Jackie, then explains to me that this “Twittering” is just not right-it goes against everything we have taught our children about “stranger danger”! I am communicating with people I have never met about personal things like what restaurant I am going to for dinner! Hmmm–she might have a point!

So how do you explain it’s different to you child? While Jackie was really giving me a hard time (because that’s what kids do to their parents), I was stumped for a little while. Of course, in business, we HAVE to reach out to strangers on a daily basis. But with social networking platforms like Twitter, you have strangers around the world “following” you. Hmmm!

stalking

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Here is a great response from my good friend, Andrew Stone:

MaryPat,

I read your email and I do have a comment on the “stranger danger” aspect of things. Your daughter is right and my wife is right for that matter. We have to be careful what we discuss and how we discuss it.
Our lives are an open book and it is a little freaky. However, it has to be that way in my business and in yours. So how am I careful? I may ask for advice on a restaurant, but I don’t say when I am going. I
mention the neighborhood I live in, but I never mention my address. I may tell people when I am home sick, but I never tell them when I leaving or for how long. I use YELP.com religiously, but I never review while I am on a vacation, I post them when I am back home. I may mention that I love to walk my dog to the dog park, but I never mention that I make it a daily practice between 5pm and 6pm (not my real times, LOL).

We have to be very careful on all of these sites. There are crazy people everywhere and I don’t want to meet them at home. We tell our children to be careful on the net and regulate their use, WE have to be
careful as well. We can put our children’s and our families lives in just as much danger as we put our own lives.

Remember that everything on the web is out for the world to see FOREVER. It may get buried, but it is still there.

Another little tidbit of information, we protect our networks and our computers with firewalls, but if you have a network connected gaming machine (wii or xbox), the world can have easy access to your home
network. Turn it off completely and even unplug it when it isn’t in use. Save power, the planet and your network!

Andrew

http://www.andrewstonerealtor.com

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I’d love to hear what YOU think!

Tagging: The Ultimate Social Networking Tool? Or Offense?

Tagging: The Ultimate Social Networking Tool? Or Offense?

My teenage daughter was embarrassed when I asked her to “clean up” her Facebook wall the other day. She had no idea that the new texting feature on Facebook was posting messages publicly instead of privately. While you might think this to be an issue that is more prominent with teens that us professional entrepreneurs, I beg to differ.

taggedI noticed a Twitter friend of mine this morning posting a reply to the Twitterverse that displayed his irritation at being tagged “just to get me to read the article.” This seems to be a regular issue on Facebook with people tagging more prominent “Facebookers” to get into their news feeds and in front of more people.

In case you are still fairly new to Facebook and the world of social media, tagging is the ability to “label” your content that you share within your social networking & content sharing sites. While “tagging” on many sites is often a personal labeling system, on some of the networking sites, it is very public and very powerful. With the power comes responsibility. So here are three simple suggestions to protect yourself from harmful or irritating tagging on Facebook.

1. Adjust your privacy settings. On Facebook, there are 5 types of privacy settings: Profile, Search, Feeds, & Friend Requests/Activities, and Applications. I highly recommend that everyone using Facebook adjust their privacy settings strategically–based on who you want to see what. This is especially important for photos, videos and notes tagged with you as well as your news feed that includes all activity pertaining to you.

2. Review your wall daily. This may seem like a nuisance, but a 15 second scan of your wall can avoid embarrasing ads and messages that some of your “less than stellar” friends may consider funny. Remove these items daily.

3. Be informed. Adjust your email/text notifications so that when someone tags you or posts on your wall, you are notified immediately and can either respond or remove the information.

Whether you are a student or a professional, you need to be strategic with everything you do and say in your social networking. As my good friend, Mari Smith, says, don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your grandmother or your great grandkids to know about you. Also, don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want posted on the front page of the New York Times. Thanks, Mari, for that great advice.

This is my simple list of 3 steps to safeguard yourself against unwanted tagging. Let me know if you have any more suggestions.

5 Mistakes Most Entrepreneurs Make in their Social Networking–and How to Avoid them

5 Mistakes Most Entrepreneurs Make in their Social Networking–and How to Avoid them

Have you jumped into social networking yet? Perhaps you are a little more involved with your LinkedIn account, or you have asked your teen to help you create a Facebook profile. You are making some friends,
checking things out, but it feels like there’s something missing.

Whether you are spending a lot of time with your social networking or just dabbling, make sure to check out these mistakes so that you don’t do the same thing most people are making.

Social networking is a powerful place to build quality relationships with great people. These relationships are the foundation for building a tribe of raving fans who can’t wait to promote everything you do and what you stand for. Isn’t that what we all want? It is completely possible through social networking, when done right. And relationships are based on WHO YOU ARE, NOT WHAT YOU DO. It is the little things, like what you do on the weekends, where you vacation, what books your read, what movies you like, are you a family person or not. THESE are the reasons people connect. Preferring you over your professional peers for expert advice comes later.

But don’t feel bad if you read this list and find you have made some of these mistakes. We all have. Most people learn by their mistakes.

1. Ever sent a “friend request” without a message that clearly connects you to the person? In my research, over 90% of all friend requests are anonymous, even with people who know you. Even though we have too much stuff on our plate, we have to slow down if we want to build quality connections over the internet. First make sure you have reviewed the profile of the person you are attempt to connect to. If you can’t see their profile, then do a quick google search. You must have a reason to connect with someone and let them know what it is. Social networking is not about quantity. It’s about quality. Second, include a personal note in each friend request connecting you to them.

2. When you post comments on someone’s one or send them a message, do you include a “signature” with a link back to your web site? Survey after survey shows that social networkers consider this spam. Only include links when it is relevant to the conversation at hand.

3. When someone asks “what do you do”, do you refer them to a sales page for more information? Or copy the sales content into a message? Social networking is not about selling. It is about building quality relationships. As I mentioned earlier, build the relationship first and your friends will want to purchase and share when the time comes.

4. Do you spend all of your time making new friends in your social networks? Because we look to our peers for information, there is an expectation that you will share good information. This information should be a combination of expert advice from yourself and others.  Because there is so much information in the Web 2.0 world, we rely on each other to help help sort the relevant information from the trivial and unimportant information.

5. Do all of your comments and messages direct people back to YOU for more information? In my research, the main reason people delete a friend, is because that person comes across as selfish and self-absorbed. The social networking world is a cooperative environment based on sharing. If you can’t get past yourself, or you feel like everyone is competition, then it is probably not the place for you.

I am sure you have heard me talk about the two reasons people visit the internet: connections and content. In this world of information sharing, people are looking to the peers for advice and direction. So building a network of peers for this purpose is necessary. To build quality connections, make sure to “fix” these problems quickly.

ambulanceThe best news about social networking is the community is very forgiving. If you make a mistake and it’s brought to your attention, apologize and fix it. And then go on. None of us are perfect. Even when we know the rules.