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Is Your Business Stuck in The 90’s or Maybe The 80’s

I have spent the last ten years in one form or another working with various size businesses and a lot are just stuck in the past. Stuck in a way of thinking that has their business either stagnant or just plain losing ground. I’ve heard a lot of owners use the statement “I don’t need to advertise I get lot’s of business on word of mouth.” or “I don’t need a website I am more of a people person.” It’s pretty laughable and sometimes sad because I have seen those same individuals shut their doors and go out of business.

There was a time when if a business had a website it was unique. Then we got to the point where if you didn’t have a website, you were irrelevant. Guess what? If you still don’t have a website or some form of internet presence, that’s still true. Now days the big argument is social media. Owners say things like “people aren’t looking for me on social media.” or “That’s for kids and my customers aren’t using social media.” I can see the sign on the door now. Sorry, we went out of business…. Look around. You have all the big companies and major brands on social media, posting, updating, engaging and spending big dollars on advertising. And they are doing it daily.

This is probably a rant more then anything. I don’t want to get in to statistics again and again because I have it in other blog posts. BUT here is the reality… more people check their Facebook feed right from their mobile device before getting out of the bed in the morning then you realize. For a lot of people, it’s the last thing they see before they go to sleep and the first thing they see in the morning.

We can talk, banter and  debate on the best forms of advertising but that’s not really what this post is about. If you want more business you have to be seen. If you want to be seen you have to go where the people are. Where are they? They are on their phones, checking Facebook, checking Instagram, sending snap chats, tweeting, pinning and spending and sharing their lives all over the world in the palm of their hand. Are you getting in front of them? Do you know how?

So let me share a few resources that will help get you moving in the right direction. Resources to get you not just convinced but educated in all things social media. First off some people you should be following. First Gary Vaynerchuk, that’s his FB page but you should follow him every where and digest everything he puts out. I would start here with this book.

The second person is Sandi Krakowski she is a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer and Top 20 Online Marketing Influencer both named by Forbes. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of her expertise and abilities. I would follow her, learn from her and buy every product she has. Not because I make any money from it, I don’t. Most of what I have learned regarding social media has been from her. She has a great Social Media Masters Class that I have taken and continue to go through.

http://www.arealchange.com

Now if you are a more savvy business owner and prefer to work smart and not hard. You can get in touch with somebody like me to manage your social media for you. I have done work for non-profits large ministries, small businesses and home business professionals. Most agencies charge anywhere from, on the low end, 600 to 2000 a month to manage your social media pages.

The rest of what I have learned has all been due to a very large mastermind and community over the last several years. I have also been studying and digging into SEO with some great success. If you would like to see if we could work together on growing your business. Just visit my Discovery Page and fill it out as best you can. I will contact you personally within 72 hours.

No matter what, get with the times and stay relevant. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you don’t need to be on social media or on the first page of Google. Eventually, if your not there, you wont exist.

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What To Do When You Have Writer’s Block

If you have ever taken on writing or blogging at some point you have probably encountered writers block. I in fact suffer from this quite regularly and it’s one of the main things that has kept me from doing any real writing. When I was younger, I was big on writing. I would write all kinds of short stories, poems to my ex wife) and I even had a book put together as a teenager. As I have gotten older as well as lazier I just stopped writing. I have started this blog so many times in the last few years it’d make you wonder if I was ever serious about anything as much as I have started and stopped.

Well, this past week a business partner, teacher and mentor friend of mine put out a contest and challenge to be consistent and blog daily. I have done pretty well up until today and I am getting closer and closer to midnight. I haven’t been able to think of a thing to write today and then it hit me…. I have writer’s block! Right?

A quick google search for writer’s block and all kinds of articles and information. From Wikipedia:

Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years. Throughout history, writer’s block has been a documented problem.[1]

Professionals who have struggled with the affliction include authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald[2] and Joseph Mitchell,[3] pop culture cartoonist Charles M. Schulz[4] and British songwriter Adele.[5] Research concerning this topic was done in the late 1970s and 1980s. During this time, researchers were influenced by the Process and Post-Process movements and therefore focused specifically on the writer’s processes. The condition was first described in 1947 by psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler.[6]

 

To read the full details from Wikipedia click here.

Now there is all kinds of other sites with different ideas on how to overcome this very normal occurrence in writers. As today isn’t the only day this has occurred for me this is how I have dealt with it myself.

  • Listen to some good music for inspiration. For me lately, it’s worship music or Twenty One Pilots.
  • Listening to good personal growth audios. I do this daily regardless but sometimes a second or third doesn’t hurt to trigger some inspirational thought or idea.
  • Reading for thirty to sixty minutes. Again, this week I have made this a daily practice and it’s helped a lot. Not just for ideas and inspiration but it’s helped develop the daily discipline.
  • Exercise: getting the blood pumping to the brain can always clean out the cobwebs. Get a good sweat going for 20 to 30 minutes and sit right down in front of the keyboard.

Worst case scenario, just try typing like you are talking and type out whatever comes to mind and see if you can’t formulate a couple of ideas. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just start. After a solid week, well six days so far, I have found is pretty easy to come up with at least 500 words on any subject matter. I will be working to increase this throughout the coming weeks as well as keeping the other daily disciplines up to not only grow inside and out but stay inspired and keep learning.

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Top Seven Social Media Platforms To Grow Your Business

When you decide to grow your business to have an online presence with your customers, it is important to know which ones to watch, and control as far as what people say about you. Plus see how each one can bring traffic to your offers.

A good resource to see the traffic insights is a place like Alexa. You can research each site and find where your target traffic is with your audience. A list below are the top traffic sites you want to share your blog posts for best engagement and places to be seen.

1. Google.com

Google.com is listed first in Alexa and has been for some time. Facebook keeps fighting for this spot. Although Google is not a social media platform, there is Google Plus which can be considered a social media platform where you can share your updates.

Give it a Plus + button to emphasize the content as well. When you share it on Google Plus, it gives the content another ranking with the search engines to who you are connected with as far as followers, friends and any lists you have created with your Google Plus profile. Yet, what can be found is that Google gives you more views to your Google Plus profile when you post videos on YouTube since your Google Plus profile features your videos as well.

 

2. Facebook.com

Facebook.com is listed second in Alexa and has kept the position for some time. There are many ways inside of Facebook to grow your business presence. If you haven’t read my post on Facebook Basic you can do so by clicking here.

Fan pages

To have a professional presence online, you must have a Fanpage to target people for your business with paid traffic. These are usually stand-alone sites that you can show your business without people having to log in to the social network as well.

You can have different applications and call to actions on the Fanpage itself to direct your audience to different offers and your website. These are shown in different locations on the FanPage itself, and always changing, of course.

Many that leverage the traffic on the Fan pages, do so with their content and sharing to other relevant pages to create more engagement. Be sure to update regularly for your audience to get the most value in what you have to offer.

Facebook Ads

There are many options in direct targeting to ads. It depends on what your goals are in your paid traffic. Here are the options that are available right now with ads:

Boost your posts Go ahead and post on your fan page and to get more engagement and traffic with your current fans and friends as you can boost that post within a set budget.

Promote your page While it is good to get exposure for your brand, getting likes to your page helps show social authority and proof as well. There has been some discrepancy on whether this type of advertisement is really helpful for your business. You can set options for when the visitor clicks like, you are directed to options like their timeline or an app that can go to your website. So consider your goal in getting more likes on your page.

Send people to your website This is a popular one to direct people to an offer. Be aware of the goals you have with your website for best results.

Increase conversions on your website This is best done with the tracking pixels Facebook offers to track the visitors that have already come to your website. Offer them an incentive to come back to your website again.

Get installs of your app This is a very specific offer inside of Facebook since Facebook offers particular apps on your Fanpage to have different functions. Look up particular ones to drive the best offer for the results you seek. See more information inside of Facebook HERE.

Increase engagement in your app This focus can help you increase your brand and get you more results with the app you use inside of Facebook.

Reach people near your business This function is very helpful for local businesses to create more awareness to their brand and services.

Raise attendance at your event This focus is helpful when you create an event on Facebook. This creates awareness to your event whether it is online or offline, or simply an offer.

 

Get people to claim your offer This is only done as an update on your page. Facebook tracks how many clicks to your offer and views, etc.

Get video views This is a hot one recently with one marketer sharing training on how to get views for .0001. You can really get a lot more exposure with video on Facebook since they are working on competing with YouTube traffic. Be clear on your target and you are set to go.

Video

Video Live features are coming out to comparative sites like Periscope, MeVee, and Meerkat. Facebook first offered the Facebook Mentions app just for celebrity fan pages and have now rolled out their live feature to US iPhone users. Soon will have more Android users and more around the world. Right now simply uploading a video allows you to have the different call to actions at the end of your video available on your Fan page, and not on your personal profile.

Groups

Inviting people to groups can also work for growing your business and engagement. Keep a focused community and goal and you can have high engagement inside. There are many other functions inside the groups like upload files, pictures in albums along with setting events as well.

Profile

Your personal profile can also have functions to grow your business with your header image, link to your fan page, and how you construct your updates to your focus.

Messages

Messaging your prospects directly can happen in your personal profile along with your fan page as well. You can create pre-set messages in your fan page and set it up on your phone shortcode for your personal profile. This function can help those that offer services and helps in relationship building.

 

3. Youtube.com

YouTube is also a very hot social media platform that allows prospects to get a real feel of what you have to offer. This platform is also set up to do targeting ads in many different functions to banner popups, video ads on the video and so much more. Leverage where you want your brand seen! Be on the lookout for a future post on all things video and my friends 50 video challenge that I take.

 

4. Twitter.com

Twitter is one of the classic social media platforms that allows short updates to direct people in many different functions. More videos show up in the news stream due to the live video apps like Periscope and images as well. Leverage this platform with their ads as well. Grab more followers and target high follower profiles as well as simple hashtags and keywords. Hashtags are simply keywords with the # sign in front. Like #socialmedia It is highlighted within the social network and you can find other tweets of people talking about that hashtag as well. I recently published a basic tutorial for Twitter, you can read it by clicking here.

 

5. LinkedIn.com

LinkedIn is a professional site for business owners. This site can help show ones resume in a more clear fashion. Connect with people in your industry with recommendations. There is also a function to use ads as well. These can be focused with different goals as well.

 

6. Instagram.com

This is a newer social media platform focused on images. People find images through hashtags and profiles on this site and can only have one link in the profile. Facebook just took over this platform so now you can do mobile ads on Facebook with your Instagram account. You can also promote ads on Instagram without an Instagram account as well. Find ways to stand out with your images with a statement and offer contests to create more engagement. I have another post that delves a little further into Instagram, just click here to read it. This platform can be a game changer if you know what you are doing.

 

7. Pinterest.com

This platform has been mainly focused for women as it is also an image focused platform. Depending on your target audience, you can find ways to grow your business by leveraging their platform with ads as well. The focus of the ads can create more engagement to a certain image for more brand awareness. To learn even more about Pinterest, just click here to read this short how-to guide to growing your brand or business with Pinterest.

 

Keep your focus with your target audience and your goals to create the results you seek when growing your business with the social media platforms. To anybody just getting started in business or to utilize social media in your business, start slow. I suggest starting with Facebook or Instagram and expanding from there. It’s really easy with all the different avenues of social media to try and dive into everything all at once, lose your focus, get distracted and accomplish nothing. Learn, dominate, somewhat automate and move on to the next. We have an amazing social media service to help you dominate your target market.

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The Basics of Growing Your Brand or Business with Twitter

Social media is a gold mine for growing a brand or business, that is if it done correctly. Then you have to take into account that each social media platform is slightly different and takes a specialized marketing strategy in order to perfect.

Twitter is one such social media platform. Of course, attempting to utilize Twitter to brand will be a completely different experience than the one used from Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. It has been said repeatedly before that in today’s modern age, there needs to be equal time spent managing all your social media fronts as well as the time put into your storefront. That’s the fact that many brands or businesses seem to forget.

 

Basic Tips For Using Twitter

The first and more important rule of using Twitter as a branding tool is to keep it consistent with your brand image. With the ease of “tweeting” potentially hundreds of tiny informational messages, photos and links within the timespan of just a few minutes, it is extremely important to keep this consistent. There are tools available to schedule your tweets out for days at a time.  You can even schedule them right on twitter but you have to know the trick to it. Like with interacting with human beings don’t be robotic or spammy. Be REAL!

Think of it like this, if a potential follower or customer is scrolling through your Twitter page, you want them to get enough information for them to formulate an opinion or view of you and your brand. You also want to leave them searching for more information, meaning they might either visit your other social media sites or even your site. Most importantly you want a loyal follower. Somebody who will not only see and read your tweets but interact with you, have conversations with you and share your content. This is the end goal of a Twitter branding campaign.

 

 

Other ways to accomplish this ultimate end goal are these must follow, Twitter ideas:

  • Write a good and engaging bio, don’t bore people with excessive amounts of information
  • Have a consistent brand image, you need a consistent brand voice, your tone through text so to speak. Again just be you, be real.
  • Choose a background and other images that represent you and the brand, don’t just post random photos! (Also, change your background from time to time to keep things interesting, but stay within your brand style and niche.)
  • Determine your brand purpose and stick to it.
  • Talk to your audience, your target audience, and talk to the people you follow as well. You never know who is going to respond or what connection is going to give you that next jump in business.

 

A final pro-tip for navigating the sometimes confusing Twitter world is to always, always respond to your customers. I know I am kind of repeating myself here but it’s worth repeating several times.  If someone posts a nice comment about your brand or a product of yours, acknowledge it. This helps to build you a positive reputation on the social media site and that is a big deal.

So if you follow all of these tips and post engaging content on your Twitter pages that link back to your brand image and purpose, you’ll be well on your way to effectively using the marketing power of Twitter. Look at this as a basis for your beginning to start using Twitter or be more consistent and intentional with Twitter. Don’t stop here and continue to learn more. Do your research and keep coming back every week for more.

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Facebook Basics for Your Business or Brand

Facebook Basics for Your Business or Brand

Facebook is a unique social media platform that needs to be used in the correct ways to market your business online. Blatant advertising might not work as much as holding one on one conversations with your customers might. Facebook is all about connection and engagement. If you don’t engage, your audience wont either! And guess what? They won’t even see you or remember you exist! Facebook is the leader of the pack and you simply cannot afford to not adopt this platform into your daily marketing strategy. So if you are sitting on the sidelines thinking it’s a fad or it’s going to fall by the wayside like myspace, it’s time to wake up!

There are 6 main types of posts you can make on your page as a business:

  1. Questions
  2. Image posts
  3. Videos
  4. Links
  5. Giveaways
  6. Coupons/Discounts

As part of the analysis, BuzzSumo looked at the performance of each type. Note that interactions means the same thing as engagement (total number of likes, shares, comments).

neilpatelblog

Found this on Neil Patels Blog – Click the image to Learn More From Him

 

Facebook must display the human face of your business

Facebook is for fun, for interactions and for communicating as you would face to face. If you have a Facebook business page or fan page, make sure you communicate in a tone that suits your business but also allows others to communicate with you. Do not use it to hard sell your products and services but use it as customer support strategy and to resolve issues that customers could be facing. Get people’s opinion about your products and always be responsive to their questions and comments so they know you care. Not just about your business and what you’re selling but about them and the relationship you have with them. This will create a loyal and viral following for you and your business that will sustain you for the long term.

 

Update your posts regularly on Facebook

Engage with your Facebook page users by making regular updates. People check their Facebook page account frequently and if you have not posted any relevant new material they will drift away from your page. Post only interesting content and something interesting about what you are doing in your business. Tell them any nice anecdotes about why you do what you do, respond to their comments in a friendly tone.

Content Map from Sandi Krakowski at A Real Change

Content Map from Sandi Krakowski at A Real Change

 

Follow pages that are getting not just a great amount of followers but engagement on their pages. If they are getting thousands of likes, shares and comments then pay attention. This is why I follow Sandi Krakowski! She is one of the top 50 social media power influencers in the world and in my opinion wrote the book on Facebook. If you’re in business and you’re not learning from her you are simply losing money, period.

 

Use pictures and videos on Facebook for visual appeal

Posting pictures about new products in your portfolio increases viewership. Builders can use videos and pictures of a new project that is underway. You can also give them information about contests or special offers you have and which are posted on your business website. That way they will visit your website and increase clicks for PPC. Discounts and giveaways are very popular with everyone and games can make your web page more interesting for customers to visit. Another reason to use images and videos is that they are shared and liked much more often and easily than written content. Follow Sandi’s content map above and don’t just puke product all over your followers all day long.

 

Advantages of a Growing Relationship on Facebook

If you follow the map above, you are real and you stay engaged with your audience they will share without being asked. This will increase your audience and make you visible to more people. Some of these people could ‘connect’ with you through your webpage and make a purchase. Success stories are as popular as asking your users for suggestions for a business problem. Human beings by nature are helpful and they love to see their suggestion make a change to a business. This gives the business a human face. You could even offer rewards for a useful suggestion, remember contests are great to run. Interacting with users also gives insights about their interests and their expectations. Posting content that is age and gender appropriate for your target market will attract more customers and future customers to your Facebook page.

If you would like to learn more information about social media, internet marketing, direct response marketing and making money online connect with me over on Facebook.

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Instagram Basics for You and Your Business

Instagram has become a social media giant. It recently announced that it had surpassed Twitter with total number of followers, bringing in over 300 million users. Each day, over seventy million photos and videos are shared between its impressive number of users. Born in 2010, this dream that started between friends has grown to be one of the most powerful social media marketing tools that is available for brands and businesses to grow themselves through pictures and short videos.

But what makes Instagram different from any of the other social media platforms? Are you just plain confused about how to go about using it to promote your brand or business? Have no fear, I have put together a short guide of Instagram Basics for You and Your Business.

Instagram First Steps

The first step in getting started on Instagram is to determine and target your audience. If you are a business or in business, you should already know this. If you don’t, get a hold of me immediately for help. Not every brand or company will be targeting the same audience so it is important to determine what your target audience is and stick to getting in front of and influencing them to like, follow, comment and ultimately buy from you.

Some people think that Instagram is only geared towards the younger, more urban generations. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Trends are showing that the older generations are following along and joining the Instagram platform every day, which will only cause the social media giant to become an even better place to market yourself, your brand and your business.

Brand Marketing with Instagram

Brand marketing can be somewhat limited on Instagram, that is beyond having a business Instagram. That’s the place where every business should start, having a good Instagram feed with a dedicated and loyal following. Beyond that, marketing opportunities can be restricted if you don’t know what you are doing.

 

Recently, Instagram has started to allow a few sponsored ads, targeted at specific users but this type of marketing has only been made available to a few select big name brands and not every small business hoping to market itself and its brand via the social media platform. So here’s a simple version of how to do this kind of nose to the ground marketing using Instagram, without relying on sponsored and/or targeted ads.

  • Build a community around a hashtag (Pro-tip, you won’t survive in the Instagram world without using a hashtag or ten in your posts!)
  • Partner with a good cause to increase your brand’s values
  • Relate to your followers but always remain relative to your brand (don’t lose sight of your brand’s purpose or message!)
  • Avoid the urge to over-post (it’s the death of a marketing strategy)
  • Use your other social media platforms to promote your Instagram
  • Find the beauty in your brand and use it to make engaging and interesting Instagram photos (Nothing attracts attention like an attention grabbing post)
  • If you aren’t familiar with Instagram, get comfortable with the app and use all of its available features to launch your marketing strategy
  • Borrow inspiration from others and expand upon it
  • Interact to gain a following (this is a must for any brand looking to market effectively on Instagram)

There you have it, the simplified way to use Instagram to quickly build a profile to successfully market your brand and company through yet another social media platform. Keep in mind that social media is changing often, sometimes daily. For instance, just today Instagram made it possible for you to be able to switch between multiple accounts. Click here for their full article.

Generating Leads with Instagram Daily

Now these are really like the heading says just the basics. There is so much you can accomplish with Instagram for your business and in many ways can put it on auto pilot and start generating leads for your business daily. As an example, I am currently generating a minimum of two laser targeted leads for my business every single day. Just from Instagram and more than 90% of this process is automated.

If you would like to learn more, get in contact with me or connect with me on Facebook. I would love to learn about you and your business.