Does Marketing Feel Overwhelming Sometimes?

I can’t begin to tell you how often I hear these words:

“I know I should be doing more to market my business (book, product, brand, etc.), but I just don’t know where to start!”

Have you ever felt that way?

For many people I talk with, it’s not that they’re afraid of social media or their website or of trying something new. They actually could do these things, but they need someone to tell them what to do, and when to do it.

Does that sound like you?

The Bite Sized Marketer logoIf it does, you may be interested in our newest service that was released this weekend.

It’s called “The Bite-Sized Marketer.”

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Once a week, you’ll receive a 5-10 minute video tutorial with detailed instructions of something you can implement in an hour or less of your time.
  • You’ll receive bonus materials that help you plan and implement your own marketing activities.
  • You’ll have access to a secret Facebook group where you can ask questions and support each other as we go along.

This service is intended for anyone who doesn’t know where to start with their online marketing, but knows they should be getting started.

The first module of the series will go into detail about using LinkedIn to generate more business, create more partnerships, and establish your expertise. Eventually we’ll cover additional social networks, blogging, and productivity tools and resources I recommend my clients use.

The content will be helpful to anyone who is looking for do-it-yourself instructions, and wants someone to guide them through the process so that they can streamline the marketing process by using those tools and techniques that work, while avoiding those that are time-wasters.

It doesn’t matter whether you are an author, a speaker, an entrepreneur, a job seeker, a student or a corporate employee. The Bite-Sized Marketer is for you!

I am so excited about what we’ve created here that I’m offering a special launch week discount, good for the lifetime of your subscription. Normally, the subscription cost is $47/month, with no minimum contract. You can cancel at any time.

However, if you sign up this week, your cost will only be $37/month for the lifetime of your subscription!

I’m so certain that you’ll see the value in our content that we’re offering a 7-day money-back guarantee as well. Try it out. If you decide it’s not for you, I’ll refund your money; no questions asked.

Marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The Bite-Sized Marketer will take you on a guided journey, showing you how to market online, one bite at a time.

 

Please be sure to share this post with friends, colleagues, job seekers and students who you feel may benefit from receiving in-depth training that they can take at their own pace.

Using Current Events to Connect with Your Audience

I’m sure you’ve heard it said, time and time again, that your content has to be relevant to your readers. One of the ways of doing that is to make your content timely. In other words, to write in response to current events.

My friend, Kurt Shaver, from The Sales Foundry wrote a great blog post this week called “Social Selling and The Final: How to Strengthen Relationships.”

NCAA Final Four logoIn it, he uses the example of The Final 4 in basketball as a catalyst for strengthening your network. It’s not so much content generation here, as an excuse to reach out to people you’re connected with and strengthen the bonds that you share. [Read more…]

Is LinkedIn a Waste of Time?

John Haydon of Inbound Zombie recently posted this question on Facebook.

Is LinkedIn a waste of time? - question

A lot of people are frustrated with the new-ish Endorsements feature. I know I personally have been endorsed for skills I didn’t even know I had!

So, I can understand their bewilderment when people who don’t really know them come along and endorse them for every skill they have listed. It’s like they’re trying to game the system or something.

Here’s the response I gave though.

Is LinkedIn a waste of time?

 LinkedIn can be a powerful part of your business strategy. [Read more…]

Are You Networking in Your Pajamas?

How’s your LinkedIn?

How much of your time do you spend networking for business each week?

Hours can be spent away from the office, going to meetings, walking away with a handful of business cards and no real follow-up method in place.

What if it could be simpler, done at your own convenience, and through targeted conversations?

That’d probably be much more efficient for you, huh?

Greeting the dayBut what if you were unprepared to start those conversations? Maybe your hair hadn’t been brushed yet, you had morning breath, your forgot your business cards in yesterdays’ outfit, or you were still dressed in your sweat pants…

I often see people whose LinkedIn profiles aren’t “ready yet” trying to get started with LinkedIn, and it’s a bit painful to watch. Their profile pictures are either missing or inappropriate. Bios are incomplete.

It’s clear to those they connect with that they haven’t really considered how to present themselves on LinkedIn yet. And then they become discouraged when it’s not the Magic Bullet they keep hearing LinkedIn can be.

There are no magic bullets!

LinkedIn is a powerful social network for any business professional to be on. But you have to approach it with the same care and planning that you would going to a networking meeting in person.

Consider your 30-second elevator speech. That’s your bio.

The professional history isn’t a resume as much as it’s a showcase of your talent.

The groups help form points of common interest.

Is it time for you to learn how to use LinkedIn the right way? Contact us for a profile assessment today, and we’ll get you spruced up and ready for powerful networking in no time!

Testimonials Are Music to a Brand’s Ears

5-star-rating for Aleweb Social MarketingWe hear it all the time. Word-of-mouth referrals are a brand’s bread-and-butter.

No amount of traditional or social marketing can equal the power of a friend who recommends a product, service, book or experience.

Today is the start of the new week. You may own your own business and look for these longed-for referrals, but how do you get them?

Have you ever heard the adage “It is better to give than receive?” When it comes to referrals and endorsements, this rule holds true.

You can ask friends and close acquaintances to endorse your product or service, but after a while you’ll run out of people to ask.

As JFK was quoted as saying “…ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Or in this case “ask not who can recommend your business, but whose business you can recommend.”

Think over the past week.

Who have you interacted with? Where did you go to lunch? When you took your teenager to the mall, which stores did you go to? What book couldn’t you put down? Whose advice and support has been crucial to your own success?

I challenge you to come up with one thing each week for the next two months that you want to recommend to your friends. It can be a business that provided excellent customer service, an enjoyable experience, or that went out of their way to make your buying experience exceptional. Or it can be a book, play, concert, or any other experience that you loved.

Why two months?

I want you to establish the habit of looking for people and experiences you can appreciate. Enjoy that feeling. Appreciate the sense of gratitude. Pass it forward. Catch people “in the act of getting it right,” and let them know you’ve noticed.

It will change you too.

Being more focused on showing your appreciation for others will take the pressure off trying to get people to appreciate your brand too. You’ll internalize what you’re learning from brands that “do it right” and potentially improve what you’re doing as well.

Regardless, in giving, you will receive. And don’t be surprised if you start to see your own client testimonials increase as well.

So… Have you thought of someone for this past week?

Go ahead and think of one. We’ll wait for you…

Have it now?

Alright… Here’s the easy part. Go find that brand online. It doesn’t matter if it’s on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Angie’s List, Instagram, Google, their website or wherever else you feel comfortable. Just find their listing and post a review.

What should your review look like?

Write it as if you’re talking to your best friend. Tell them about your experience and what made it so special.

Businesses hear often when they’ve done something wrong. Give them a boost. Let them know when they’ve done something right so they can do it more often!

Wherever you posted that endorsement, share it with your friends.

People like to buy from brands they know, like and trust. Your recommendation tells your friends who you know, like and trust, and exactly why. And perhaps that experience is exactly what they were looking for too!

Share a link in the comments below to a brand that made you feel special recently and let us know how they did it.

LinkedIn for Authors

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.

aleweb social marketing, tara r. alemany, linkedin for authors, all-star linkedin profile, professional writer, offer sample chapter, how can authors use linkedin, how writers use linkedin

So, how do you create a strong LinkedIn profile?

Want step-by-step video instructions to improve your LinkedIn profile? Check out our LinkedIn Mastery course on “Creating an Awesome Profile!

Follow these simple steps to create and use an All-Star author’s LinkedIn profile. [Tweet]

[Read more…]

The Ultimate Complete Final Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet [INFOGRAPHIC]

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!

The Ultimate Complete Final Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet LunaMetrics

Brought to you by the LunaMetrics blog.

 

2013 – The Year of Social Selling

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.

Social Selling Boot Camp 2013Often, 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.

When Social Networking Does Good

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.
eMarketing Association logo
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.”

To Tweet, Or Not To Tweet

Thomas Comer | B2B CFO http://www.b2bcfo.com/partner/tcomer/Thomas R. Comer, MBA, JD, a partner in B2B CFO. Tom attended a talk I gave at a NetworkPlus event in Westport, CT, this spring, which just happened to be of the same name. It’s one of my more popular Twitter talks, “To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Whether Twitter is a Useful Business Tool or a Devious Distraction.”

Without knowing what the topic was that day, Tom had brought along this poem he’d written. With his permission, I share it with you. (Apologies from both of us to The Bard.) 🙂

To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of cyber-obscurity,
Or to take arms against a sea of competitors,
And by opposing end them? To log on, to search,
No more; and via Google to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural junk mails
That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To log on, to search;
To search, per chance a “hit” — aye, there’s the rub:
For in that SEO of hope what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this limited liability company,
Must give us pause — there’s the respect
That makes the value proposition so long.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of clients,
The promised referral, the proud man’s brochure,
The pangs of unreturned phone calls, the Internet’s delay,
The insolence of networking, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his laptop make
With a Facebook page? What would consultants bear,
To blog and sweat under a weary life,
But for the dread of something called LinkedIn,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus the hyperlink doth make cowards of us all.

What are your views? IsTwitter a useful business tool or a devious distraction? If you don’t know and want to find out, feel free to give us a call or book our talk for your organization.