The Oft-Forgotten Tool in our Marketing Toolkit: SlideShare

Are you an author? A speaker? A trainer? A marketer? All of the above? You know there’s a very powerful tool that’s often overlooked that we could be taking out and using more often; or at least I know I could. So, today’s post is going to cover some interesting examples of how you can use SlideShare to increase your visibility.

  1. Start first with the increased exposure that posting presentations to the SlideShare site itself gives to you. Developing a strong presence on the site, with a complete profile, suitable keyword tags for each presentation, etc. will allow others to find, appreciate and share your material and samples that much more easily. It also provides a great place to send event planners, training coordinators, etc. who want to see a bit more of what your work looks like. According to the SlideShare website:

    SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. With 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million pageviews, it is amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world. Besides presentations, SlideShare also supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars.

  2. Jazz up your LinkedIn profile by incorporating the SlideShare app into it. To do so, in LinkedIn, select the More menu, followed by Get More Applications…, and then select the SlideShare Presentations app to add to your profile. Configure the app to connect to your SlideShare account, and then visitors to your profile will be able to see the most recent presentation you shared. If they click on the app logo, it will take them to an expanded version of the SlideShare app where they can explore other presentations as well.
  3. Embed a presentation on your website. If you have a presentation or two that you want to highlight for your website visitors, SlideShare provides you with the necessary embed code to be able to do that. Here’s one that I just uploaded from a talk I gave last March.
  4. Pin presentations from SlideShare to Pinterest boards. I recently got into a debate with someone about Pinterest and its ideal uses. They saw it as a place where women share recipes and post inspirational quotations. The thing is, Pinterest is such a powerful site and has an incredible level of engagement. So, why wouldn’t you incorporate it into your business strategies, marketing tactics or even your job search? Here’s a great SlideShare presentation on creating Pinterest resumes. The same concept can apply for various speaking topics, book subjects, training courses, etc. Be imaginative!
  5. Periodically share your presentations in your status updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Create a few pre-crafted posts that you can add to your editorial calendar and keep continuing traffic coming to the presentations you want to have the most visibility. Schedule these posts in your post planner (I use Hootsuite), so that they run on auto-pilot.
  6. Remember to craft your presentations well! A well-crafted presentation will catch people’s attention, prompting them to share it with their networks as well. Consider adding video to your presentation or an audio track, wherever appropriate, to bring the presentation to life.
  7. Generate leads using SlideShare. If you upgrade your free account to the PRO version, you can use LeadShare to enable viewers to contact you directly, right from your presentations! With a LeadShare campaign running, a lead capture box is displayed after the first 10 slides, at the end of the deck, or by a permanent display button on the player. To learn more about Leadshare, click here.

What are some of your favorite ways to use SlideShare?

Book Review: What Color Is Your Parachute?

Parachute Cover

As a child back in the early ‘70s, I can still remember my father coming home with a book one day whose title jumped out at me. It was a title that seemed silly and compelling all at the same time. “What Color Is Your Parachute?” I’d never been interested in one of my Dad’s books before. But this one caught my attention… Did the color of parachutes mean something? Was there some great mystery that would be revealed as the final pages of this book were read? I have to admit, I didn’t find out the answer to that question until much later…

I recently had the opportunity to review the 40th anniversary edition of “What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard N. Bolles, and decided to follow up on that missed opportunity from decades ago. And am I glad that I did!

Dick Bolles has revised and updated his book almost every year since it was first released, ensuring that it remains current and relevant to today’s job seeker. But this book is also a book for truth seekers, which is why my Dad had first picked it up. He was employed, and wasn’t looking for a new job. But he recognized that his young life hadn’t gone exactly as he’d hoped thus far, and he wanted to figure out the reasons why.

As Dick Bolles walks you through the things you need to know as part of a modern-day job search, he also provides exercises that help you to know yourself more, and in so doing, to find that job that is ideally suited to you. He covers how to find hope, deal with depression, and survival skills you need in today’s world, how to deal with handicaps (real or imagined), how to find job vacancies, whether or not resumes are still relevant, how to network using social media and in real life, tips for interviewing and salary negotiation, what you need to know before you start your own business, why being inventive is key to survival, and how to choose a new career. Exercises help you to look closely at the skills that you enjoy using the most, finding your mission in life and coming to know yourself better, and then figure out how to transfer those skills into a career. But it doesn’t stop there, because then you need to teach someone else how to do the same.

One of many statements that jumped out at me was that the key to hope is that, in every situation, we have to have at least two alternatives. So long as two alternatives exist, there’s always a reason to hope. The greatest thing about that is that hope gives you wings, persistence and energy to face whatever challenge you may find before you.

After reading this book, I can understand why my father turned to it when he was trying to figure his own life out. We all go through periods of doubt where we wonder why our lives didn’t turn out the way we’d planned on, and how to get back on track to living a fulfilling, meaningful life. While Dick’s book is specifically geared towards the job seeker, the same principles can be used by the entrepreneur, the student working on college entrance applications, the retiree, and anyone else interested in discovering a more satisfying life.

 

What To Do When There’s a Snafoo…

Early this morning, news started floating around about Mark Davidson, from Orange Country, CA. According to his Twitter bio, he’s an:

“Internet sales & marketing professional. I write a lot of things to amuse myself and others. On occasion, I even have deep thoughts.”

According to his Twitter timeline, this social media professional had 3 ghostwriters on staff until yesterday, when he let one go. I’m sure, to his chagrin, he didn’t change his Twitter password. The result is something highly unprofessional, but something that could happen to anyone of us as a result of a momentary oversight.

Mark Davidson

Those of us who have ever lost a job can probably relate to the feelings expressed by this ghostwriter towards his former employer. However, all that would have to happen is for Mark to name this unemployed writer, and we can be certain the writer would remain that way for a long time to come!

So, don’ttake your momentary anger and make it part of the permanent record of the internet! There are multiple lessons to be learned here.

  1. If you’re an employer and let an employ go, make sure that your systems remain secure.
  2. If you’re recently unemployed, find other, more constructive, means of dealing with the feelings you’re experiencing. The loss of an income is significant. You have every right to feel intense emotions about it. But don’t let those emotions blind your reason and drive you to irreparable actions.
  3. If you’ve been the victim of a hacked account or some other kind of business failure, consider what information you want to share with your connections. How do you want people to view you afterward? Tailor your response to that. Is there something you could have done to prevent the issue? Own up to it.

Anyone can take their ball and go home. However, professionals face their problems, acknowledge what went wrong and what’s being done to fix the issues, and they move forward from there. Mark’s subsequent tweets show that he considered giving up; but instead, he posted a want ad for a new ghost writer. Know anyone that’s interested?

Hashtags Demystified…

[Update: As of January 9th, 2012 TwapperKeeper is now fully integrated with the HootSuite dashboard. This means the core functionality you now enjoy for archiving your tweets is available alongside your other social networks and profiles. ]

A friend of mine called me up earlier today and said “Can you tell me about this hashtag thing? I really need to understand it for my business, and haven’t a clue where to start.” Rather than keeping the information between “just the two of us,” I decided to write a quick post and show you just what hashtags are capable of doing.

Hashtags are a quick and easy way of organizing information on Twitter. Due to some tools that allow you to post on multiple social networks at once (like Hootsuite and TweetDeck), you’ll find hashtags used on other social networks as well, but they were first used with Twitter and there are Twitter-related sites that make them extremely powerful. Thus, the examples I use in this blog post will all be Twitter-oriented.

So, first – What is a hashtag? Wiktionary defines it as: A tag embedded in a message posted on a microblogging service, consisting of a word within the message prefixed with a hash sign (#).

Now that that’s clear, let’s move on. Oh! Wait! It didn’t make sense? Okay. Let’s try again. If I want to highlight certain terms in a tweet as keywords in my text, I start them with a hash sign. The combination of the hash sign and the word that immediately follows it is my “hashtag.” So, when I tweet something about my brand (Aleweb Social Marketing), I use a hashtag of #Aleweb to highlight that keyword.

A common use of hashtags is to refer to virtual and real-world events (like TweetChats, conferences, SXSW, etc.). People interested in finding out what everyone’s saying about that event will search for the hashtag and see a running stream of commentary filtered on that one subject. Brown Estate, a winery in Napa Valley, created the #brownzin hashtag to put on the label of their 2009 Napa Zin label to facilitate conversation among the various people who enjoy that particular wine, and they’re tweeting about it to this very day!

Job seekers in Connecticut may want to watch the hashtag pair “#jobs #ct” or “#hiring #ct” to learn more about openings that exist within the state. You can filter that further by adding a tag for the field or specific location that you want. For example, “#hartford #ct #jobs.” There are also folks out there doing all they can to help those who are unemployed find gainful employment. Try taking a look at #findajobfriday, #hirefriday, and #jobangels. [Tip: Twitter is a great tool in the job search because many recruiters will post a job opening on Twitter, which is free to use, before paying to post the opening on a job board. Therefore, you can learn about some openings before they’re even posted anywhere by watching for them on Twitter.]

How do I create a hashtag? Well, you create one by simply starting to use it. There’s no place to register a tag. You start using it, and invite your followers use it too. Over time, this leads to greater visibility, especially when you actively promote its use, like Brown Estate did by including the tag on their labels.

Sometimes, multiple hashtags appear that all relate to the same thing (like #job and #jobs, and #FollowFriday and #ff). Remember that the hashtag counts in your character count for your tweet. So, you want something short and sweet, but meaningful. Play around with searching for the hashtag you want to create. If it’s not in use, run with it and let others know what it means, and encourage them to use it too!

Finally, how do I search for a hashtag? Well, there are all sorts of ways to do that. You can use search.twitter.com to search for the hashtag. You can use the search box in Hootsuite and other applications. You can also use Tweetchat or Twubs to monitor conversations taking place around a given hashtag. (When you use Tweetchat, you have less than 140 characters to work with, because TweetChat automatically appends the tag you’re following to your tweet.)

How else can hashtags help me? You can also use other sites like BlastFollow to automatically follow everyone who’s using a particular hashtag. Or you can create an RSS feed of a hashtag for posting on your website or pulling into your Facebook newsfeed. You can use Storify to create a story out of a collection of posts for archiving and sharing purposes, and you can use TwapperKeeper to periodically archive hashtag posts so that nothing gets lost over time.

A hashtag by itself is a simple thing. But what you do with it is as rich and powerful as you make it. Promote your business. Find a job. Attend a conference. Learn something new. The choice is yours!

And when you share this post, try adding #Aleweb to it. Then see what everyone else is saying and join the conversation!