When home computers first came out, the general sentiment of many “experts” was that they would never catch on. Similar sentiments were expressed when the Internet started, and when e-mail was introduced into corporate life
There will always be naysayers when any significant change comes along that impacts the way we do business. But can you imagine your life today without computers? The Internet? E-mail? (I know some of us would like to imagine life without e-mail, but I know very few people who have managed to do away with it in their lives completely!)
The same is true of social media. It’s not just a fad. It’s not going away. And ignoring it won’t help!
How and Why Social Media Won’t Go Away
Social media is all about relationships. As with any relationship, it can have a different context for each connection. There are some people I’m friendly with, others I buy from, I have best friends, a support network, people I ask advice of and collaborate with, and others I learn from. That’s “in the real world,” but it’s true also on social media.
One of my books, The Character-Based Leader, was written with people I met on Twitter. I share ideas with other authors and entrepreneurs, and talk about social media with clients and prospects on Facebook. I have been hired multiple times for speaking engagements and project work by people who found me on LinkedIn and on my blog. Slideshare helps establish my expertise as hundreds of people have viewed my content, and hundreds more follow my Pinterest boards.
Word of mouth marketing is the most powerful form of marketing there is, and much of it takes place on the Internet these days.
Every professional should be using LinkedIn, and that goes for writers too. LinkedIn is the online equivalent of real-world networking. As such, it can be used in much the same way. However, LinkedIn goes beyond just meeting new people, and participating in “getting to know you” conversations and lead generating “dance cards.”
LinkedIn for Authors
Here are a few reasons why you want to be on LinkedIn:
- Links: Links from LinkedIn to your online content count in the Google search algorithm, whereas Facebook links don’t.
- Credibility: Since LinkedIn is a site for business professionals, there is an air of credibility that having a well-ranking profile within LinkedIn grants you.
- Research: LinkedIn’s search functions enable you to identify agents, publishers and editors in the areas you want to get into. In addition, though, it also shows you who your mutual connections are, shared interests, and other commonalities between you that enable you to craft an introductory message that breaks the ice, instead of being just another nameless face in the crowd.
- Connections: The opposite is also true. People who are looking for what you do can find you via LinkedIn’s search functionality, but only when you have a great profile (otherwise, all of the other better profiles outrank you in LinkedIn’s search result – don’t neglect building a strong profile). I have had a number of clients and booking agents find and subsequently hire me due to LinkedIn.
It all comes down to how you use the site, and how strong a profile you have.
So, how do you create a strong LinkedIn profile?
Follow these simple steps to create and use an All-Star author’s LinkedIn profile. [Tweet]
I recently had someone ask me:
Do I really have to blog?
The answer to that is simple. NO! You don’t have to blog.
There is nothing in this world that compels you to blog, just like you don’t have to get up and brush your teeth in the morning, or put fresh clothes on, or take a bath once in a while.
However, you may not get the results you want though if you don’t.
The Importance of Blogging, and Blogging Some More
If your goal for your book, product, service or brand is to gain more visibility (the positive kind, mind you!), then blogging is a very powerful way to begin, for many reasons.
- It’s fresh content, which the search engines like to see.
- It’s easy for readers to share with their friends.
- It brings traffic to your website, increasing its visibility to the search engines.
- It’s more information on the internet that’s all about you and your favorite topic!
- It gives prospective buyers a sense of who you are, what you care about, and how you present yourself.
So, how do you get started? Don’t you have to have your own website to blog? Well… The answer isn’t quite so simple.
Are you a first-time, self-published author? Wondering where to get started with promoting your new book? Or, perhaps you’ve traditionally published your book and are surprised by how little your publisher will be doing to market your book?
Don’t wait until the last minute to begin marketing.
A Beginners Guide to Self-promotion
The biggest mistake that many authors make is waiting until the last minute to think about how they are going to market a book. Oftentimes, it’s not until after it is already published that they even start to consider “what’s next?” However, marketing plans should be started early in the writing process so that you have sufficient time to build the connections, relationships and social media profiles necessary to get the word out about your new title.
If you’re like the vast majority of writers, a marketing plan may never have even made it onto your To Do list. Here you are, with your newly published book in hand, and no idea what to do next.
Your marketing strategy is going to be different than someone who started earlier, unless you have a large platform already (a platform is the online reach you have using e-mail, social profiles and other online connections to connect with an audience.). Building an audience takes time, especially if social marketing is going to be a part of your overall marketing strategy. The goal of any good marketing strategy though is going to include maximizing exposure to the right target audience for your book. And while self-promotion may feel awkward and uncomfortable to you, there is no one who knows your material better than you do! You can do this! (more…)
One of the challenges of keeping up with social media is to ensure that you have attractive and consistent branding across all of the various platforms. No sooner do you find the right size for Facebook than the same image changes on Google+ and you need to tweak your images again.
Doing the research to find all the right sizes was always a pain. Various sites had inconsistent (and even incorrect) information, making it difficult to know where to turn or who to trust.
Thankfully, LunaMetrics has stepped forward and volunteered to be the keeper of all such mundane information, providing social marketers with a single place to turn for all their sizing needs. Thank you, LunaMetrics!
|Today’s post is a guest post from Josh Allan Dykstra, a fellow member of the Lead Change Group. Josh and I had the chance to meet and talk for a bit at SANG in October, and I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know him. Since he recently released his new book Igniting the Invisible Tribe: Designing An Organization That Doesn’t Suck, I asked him to share a few thoughts on what’s worked best for him in promoting his book online.
If you want to guest post on this blog, contact us for our submission guidelines.
So, I hear you’re an author with a book on your hands. Or, perhaps, you have a book in production which will soon release to be your groundbreaking tome. First, congratulations! Please don’t take these compliments lightly — many, many (maybe even most) people would “like to write a book someday.” Simply by the act of actually completing the task, you have made yourself a scarce resource. You’ve put your thoughts into the world in a careful and meaningful way. This is something to celebrate!
That said, even though you now (or will soon) have a book that you’re incredibly proud of, what you probably don’t have are millions of eyeballs, poised and ready to consume your brilliant and innovative prose. Don’t let this get you down; it’s a problem most new authors face, honestly. Most of us aren’t radio hosts or TV stars. We don’t have 100,000+ followers on Twitter or celebrity status.
So how do us “normal folks” get the work we’ve slaved over for months (maybe even years) in front of the right readers? Here are four ways you may not have considered:
1. Strategically Join A Great Group
Of course, we’ve all heard ad nauseam about the benefits and importance of networking. This is true, of course, but in this example I’m not talking about rubbing shoulders with just anybody. Some groups provide specific benefits to authors and content creators, and these are the kind of groups you want to look for. For me, being part of the Young Entrepreneur Council has been amazing. The YEC has media partnerships in place that members can take advantage of, and it’s helped me get my writing featured in Fast Company, Business Insider, etc.
2. Find Niche Bloggers
The idea here is fairly simple: connect with the people who run the blogs that already talk to the groups of people you want to connect with. The easiest way to identify these sites might be to think about the places you yourself go to find interesting content — if you like it, it’s likely the people who will read your work will, too. Send a note to the blog’s owner (usually easy to find on an About Us or Contact page) and offer to do a guest post, video chat, or email interview; whatever the blog owner thinks will connect most with their audience. If you can show that you’ll create value for their readers, many bloggers will jump at the chance to get great (and free!) external content.
3. Partner With University Professors
Do you know any professors who teach something related to your material? Offer to get them a free copy of your book and see what they think! If they find it helpful and you can get on the syllabus as required reading, classrooms can be a great source of recurring revenue — and, perhaps even more exciting, a perfect way to get your ideas into the heads of impressionable minds. I’ve found the best way in is through the professor directly; many times they have complete “creative control” over what they want their students to be exposed to. If you can get them excited about your work, they’ll be a great advocate.
4. Start and/or Lead A Tribe
This is the hardest, but probably best, way to grow your readership. Because of the ways the world is changing, particularly in regards to technology, it’s easier than ever to connect with the people who care about the same big, hairy problems you do. Stake your claim and purchase the URL. Start talking and writing about it everywhere. Obsess over how to create value for the members of your tribe, and make sure your book is a worthy conversation piece for tribe members. I won’t lie and say this is easy — it takes a tremendous investment of work and time — but once you are seen as a thought leader of a movement, you’ll find that book sales will come much more easily.
It’s an amazing privilege when people give us their most scarce resource of time to read our thoughts, isn’t it? I’m truly honored you gave a bit of your time to read my thoughts here. My sincere best wishes to you on your adventures as an author!
Josh Allan Dykstra is a recognized thought leader on the future of work and company culture design. His articles and ideas have been featured by Fast Company, Business Insider, MSN.com, Under30CEO, and The Agency Post. He is a co-founder of Strengths Doctors, a consulting firm that helps leaders and entrepreneurs design energizing places to work. Josh’s eclectic background includes projects with organizations like Apple, Sony, Genentech, Starbucks, and Viacom/CBS as well as startups, nonprofits, and universities. He holds an MBA in Executive Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his new book, Igniting the Invisible Tribe: Designing An Organization That Doesn’t Suck, is available on Amazon.com. Connect with him online at http://joshallan.com.
|Today’s post is a guest post from Kurt Shaver, a former VP of Sales turned Social Selling speaker/trainer, and founder of The Sales Foundry.
If you want to guest post on this blog, contact us for our submission guidelines.
Often, major shifts in business occur when a confluence of factors combine to change the status quo. Think about the impact that affordable cars and trucks plus the interstate highway system had on the railroads. More recently, consider the impact that the Internet plus mobile devices are making on the newspaper industry. Old-fashioned selling techniques may soon begin to fade away, too, due to the influence of multiple Social Selling factors in 2013.
Consider these factors:
The Rising Awareness of Social Selling: The term Social Selling is yet another spin-off of the Social Media mother ship (i.e. Social Business, Social Enterprise,…). Individual consumers starting embraced social applications 7-8 years ago. As audiences grew, corporate Marketing Departments and Customer Service jumped in a few years ago. Now, corporate Sales Departments are realizing that they cannot manage the bottoms-up social activities of select salespeople. Instead, they are developing top-down social strategies so they can standardize and manage these activities.
Big Changes at LinkedIn: As the 800-lb gorilla of B2B Social Selling, LinkedIn experienced some significant milestones is 2012:
- 1-year anniversary of IPO (think “cash to innovate”)
- 185M members and counting
- Launch of Sales Navigator, a dedicated version for salespeople.
- Biggest redesign of the Profile format in company history
Taking Center Stage: Thought-leaders started using the term Social Selling about a year ago and a few conferences held break-out session on the topic. Now dedicated Social Selling conferences and seminars are appearing on the 2013 calendar. These events combine the proven principles of sales prospecting (rapport/trust/credibility) with new tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and others. The fact that organizers can draw both attendees and exhibitors is evidence of the growing popularity of Social Selling.
So, as you plan your 2013 goals and strategies, consider how to take advantage of the growing power of Social Selling tools and techniques.
Want to learn the latest Social Selling techniques? Attend a free introductory webinar, “New Ways to Grow Sales with Social Selling,” this Wednesday, January 16, from noon- 1:00 PM ET, or jump right in and join the Social Selling Boot Camp, a 30-day virtual training program beginning February 7. Save $200 with Coupon Code: 200BCA. See full program information here.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how to grow a Twitter following. Since I’ve spoken and written on this topic a lot, I decided to ask some of my friends.
Here’s what I asked them.
I’m planning on writing a blog post in the next week or two that focuses on the best methods of growing your Twitter following. I’d love to get your tips and input to share with my readers.
And here’s how they responded.
|My former business partner, Sheldon Adelson, the former owner and founder of Comdex (one of the biggest trade shows in history) and owner of the The Venetian Hotel, once said to build a successful trade show you need to remember this one rule: “Attendees beget Exhibitors and Exhibitors beget Attendees.” So this also applies to your followers. If you engage them , they will engage you and that is critical to being successful in getting followers — engage them and be real. Don’t just spit out info and sell things, engage them in a dialogue and they will be your best brand ambassadors.
Jeffrey Hayzlett, Best Selling Author, Speaker & Sometimes Cowboy @jeffreyhayzlett
|For me, I’ve used two services that have made a real difference. The first is a new platform that’s in development called Kuhhoots, and it’s a great method of sharing relevant content in a way that’s pre-planned. Started by my friend, Robert Galinsky (yep, that’s him – the Reality TV Coach), I highly recommend this “set it and forget it” approach to staying relevant, without losing that personal touch. Another service that’s made a real impact for me is triberr, founded by Dino Dogan. Triberr allows you to connect with professionals you respect, and mutually share content from your blog posts, with an invitation-only “tribe.” Leveraging the power of others, you can literally reach millions using this platform (assuming you have good blog content). You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to, but it’s a terrific way to access great material, and share valuable info with your followers. And one final thought: do you have a Twylah page?
Chris Westfall, National Elevator Pitch Champion, Sales and Leadership Development Coach, Keynote Speaker & Author @westfallonline
|I’ve been told by an expert I know to keep my branding consistent across all of my online platforms so that people can readily recognize me and identify what I do. By increasing brand recognition, it helps people more readily decide whether or not to follow me. I also make it easy for people to follow me from one platform to another. For instance, I include my social profiles in my e-mail signature and on my website so that people know where to find me!
Ann McIndoo, Author’s Coach, CEO and Founder of So, You Want to Write! @AuthorsCoach
|Content is King and consistency is queen. Keep these two core principals in mind whether you post through a scheduling service or manually for each post. When some one responds to a tweet, Facebook post, LinkedIn post or any other social network that you are posting on, MAKE TIME to be responsive with sincerity and work on getting to know your fans and followers better. Be real! People know when you’re faking and when you have all your chips on the table. So I say “go all in, all the time!”
Richard Bishop, Owner Classy Catering Creations @CCateringC
Here’s what I’d add to these tips. Find a few Tweetchats to participate in. It’s 100% pure engagement, and a great way to meet new people who share a common interest.
Also, make sure you share a variety of content. Keep a healthy blend of links, retweets, thoughts and interactions going. If you need to use scheduling software to spread your posts throughout the day, then do it! Don’t bombard folks with tweets and then leave them high and dry.
And for anyone interested in learning more about Kuhhoots (mentioned above by Chris Westfall), stay tuned. You may be hearing more about it from me in another month or two…
What are your best tips for growing a Twitter following?
The New Year has begun, filled with all sorts of possibility and wonder. For some reason, the changing of the years seems to remind us to look back at what’s behind us, and eagerly anticipate what’s ahead of us.
However, in business (and in life), each new day yields the same opportunity. Learn from the past. Plan for the future. Dream big, live fully, love deeply, fail fast, and grow more.
With 365 new beginnings lying before you this year, what dream are you pursuing today? Or are you simply trying to keep up with the demands of Life?
Set aside time each day to step back, think about where you are right now, and where you want to be in the future. Are you positioned to get there? If not, what changes do you need to make to adjust course?
For your business, review your business plan. (This applies, even if you are a personal brand!) If you don’t have one, sit down and write one. Without it, you have no discernible measure of where you are in relation to your goals. If you have one, is it current or does it need updating?
The process of having to document your business, your products and services, your position in relation to competition, etc., helps to clarify and define your business. This makes it easier to make decisions about growth opportunities, future direction, prospective client projects, and much more. Without a business plan, you’re simply reacting to events as they unfold, left to the whim of others.
Michael Hyatt, former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, also recommends having a life plan for your personal affairs as well. Certainly if you want to be in control of your life, instead of reacting to events all the time, knowing what you want out of life is important. Having a plan will help you balance the demands on your time and resources, while also allowing you to create the legacy you want to leave.
How does your business plan align with your life plan? Are there areas of conflict that need resolution? For example, if spending time with family and friends is a huge part of your life plan, does your business plan ensure you have the time and freedom to do that?
By understanding where you are now and where you want to go in the future, you’re well-equipped to figure out the steps required to get from here to there. Check back regularly to ensure you stay on target. Keep both plans updated as things change.
You don’t have to wait for a New Year to create the life you want. You just have to decide here and now, in this moment, that you’re starting. Then, let nothing stand in your way!
As a thank you to my readers, and with permission from its creator, Dave VanHoose of the 7-Figure Speaking Empire, here’s his Success Goal Workshop worksheet to get you started thinking. I’ve already filled mine out and have been re-reading it frequently the past few days.
And if you’re free today at noon ET, join Dave for his Be Legendary BlogTalkRadio show. Today’s topic is on planning your goals for 2013, and you’ll be able to call in to get your questions answered. If you miss the live show, you can always explore the archive!
As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them below. We’d love to know what your big goals are!
I’ve been providing social marketing services for three years now. Yet, one of the things I’ve seen a significant increase in this year has been the ability of social communities to rally together for a good cause. Whether it’s spreading news or raising funds, there is no parallel to how rapid a message can spread when shared over social networks.
In my local area, since August, lost dogs have been found, runaway children have been restored to their families, news of a long-time family friend’s passing quickly spread, a kidnapped child was returned safely to his guardians, and an online community formed to support two families whose lives were devastated by a home gas explosion.
When the tragic shootings took place in Sandy Hook (a neighboring community to where I live) on Dec. 14th, 2012, news spread like wildfire over the social networks. As always, I found Twitter to be the best source of news. Facebook couldn’t keep up with or spread the information quickly enough because of its closed nature. But with a few appropriately placed hashtags, I could find out everything I wanted to know as it was unfolding; actually, more than I wanted to know since my own children’s schools were also on lock-down until the situation was under control.
What I didn’t know until today was that the very next day, a colleague of mine suffered a tragedy in his own family. Robert Fleming is CEO of the eMarketing Association, an organization whose conferences I have spoken at over the past couple of years. It’s related LinkedIn group is the 4th largest group on that network, out of over 1.5 million groups!
On Dec. 15th, his 12-year-old daughter suffered an illness and was paralyzed from the neck down. Within 5 hours’ time, she went from being perfectly healthy to being completely paralyzed, unable to eat, speak or breathe on her own. She still remains in the ICU at this time. But is in good spirits. A website to chart her progress will be up and running in another day or two at rhanasjourney.com.
While the information I have is limited and the family deserves its right to privacy as it deals with these difficult circumstances, Robert is hoping to see good come out of this circumstance regardless. On LinkedIn today, he shared an announcement with the eMarketing Association Network group.
100% of all profits from conference registrations, certifications, sponsorships, memberships and ecourses will be contributed to a fund in [his daughter's] name, for her care, now through the end of January.
With this offer, you’ll be able to hone your eMarketing skills as you prepare for 2013, and know that you are helping a little girl heal at the same time. So, why not take a moment and make an investment in both her and yourself. See what the eMarketing Association has to offer today. And, as Robert finished his announcement, “Our best wishes to you for a fantastic new year.”