Getting Your Story Out There

Today’s guest post is from Jical Jial of Mosotomoss. He is a Creative Stager that helps entrepreneurs to stage their story. You can see more of his writing at Mosotomossblog.com.

Create the story you want pepol to seeCreate the story you want people to see and take ownership of what you want them to hear. It’s never too late to get your story out there. I know sometimes it can feel like a daunting task to do everything yourself. There are many steps you have to take to get your story out, but if you break those steps up, it doesn’t seem so daunting.

As a writer, you may think writing your book was the hard part. But I would say, marketing the book is the hard part. When you don’t have a team of creative people behind you coming up with ideas to market the book, it can be frustrating. Don’t wait until the book is finished to start working on the marketing. I’ve seen way too many authors finish a book and then ask, “what’s next?”

To market your story is to seduce your audience into wanting more of what you have to offer. Just like you build the suspense up in your book, you have to do the same thing with your marketing. You have to create anticipation in your audience. Writing a blog post or creating lively chats on Facebook are two great ways for you to build up the suspense.

Create rich dialog about certain situations in the book without giving away any of the book. Make what you’re posting relevant to your audience. All characters must go through something, and so does your audience. Now would be a great time to pull them in, not after you have written the book and when it’s about to be published.

Today’s publishers want to know how big your audience is. That often determines if you will be able to secure a traditional publishing contract. Without an audience, it’s hard to sell the book. Having an audience to sell to says a lot about you. It says you are interesting, and people want to hear what you have to say.

I am often asked whether an author should post excerpts of a new book on a blog. I would never recommend doing that. It’s always best to blog about characters or storylines without giving away anything. It’s really important as an author for you to be engaged with your audience. So find ways to start conversations about the book, rather than giving previews of it.

When it comes to your marketing plan, don’t just think about selling the book. Most authors never think about merchandising, for example, selling T-shirts with quotes on them that your character says, like “Who is John Galt?”  Promoting your merchandise is a great way for you to not only make extra money, but build a brand empire up at the same time as building your audience. 

You are an entrepreneur, believe it or not. Telling yourself you are just a writer won’t work. When you believe you are an entrepreneur, you act like an entrepreneur. There are many more ways of getting your story out there. The main way is to build the story up before it ever really gets finished or heads to the publisher. Generate a buzz about your book as early as possible. The more people you know, the more chances you have in selling them something they want to have.

The Best Social Media Platform for Business

I’ve been asked many times before, “What’s your favorite social media platform for business?”

Many people think that if you’re in business, LinkedIn is the only place to be, and while LinkedIn has its many benefits and is a strong contender in my social media platform, my answer may be surprising to you.

My favorite social media platform, hands down, is Twitter.

I know. I know. I hear it all the time. You’re thinking “What? Twitter? I just don’t get all that tweeting stuff. All it is is stuff about what everyone had for breakfast!”

That’s where I’d jump up and down, pointing my finger at you and shouting “Wrong!” Well, maybe not so much jumping up and down… And probably not shouting. (It’s not my style.) I have no idea why I’d point a finger either…

But you’re definitely wrong. Sorry!

As simple as the site is, Twitter is the most powerful tool in my social media arsenal.

The Best Social Media Platform for Business

twitter

When I found out in 2009 that I was soon to be unemployed, Twitter was where my job search took root. It was where I was first exposed to the power of hashtags to find and sort content being shared on the internet.

I was a bit nervous at first about using Twitter. Was everyone a scam artist?

Then, I came across Steve Keating (@LeadToday) on Twitter. For some reason, his simple reassurance in his bio that he wasn’t selling anything on Twitter, only giving back, set my heart at ease. I started engaging with him a bit, and enjoying his nonsensical animal trivia on Saturday mornings. It reminded me of a book my kids and I enjoyed called 365 Days of Nature and Discovery: Things to Do and Learn for the Whole Family.

Our shared interest in leadership topics led me to discover the Lead Change Group (@leadchange and #leadchange) shortly after their Leader UnPalooza in early 2010, which sounded like a lot of fun. I struck up a friendship with Mike Henry Sr. (@mikehenrysr), the founder of the group, which led me to discover and make connections with many of the founding members of the Lead Change Group.

[Read more…]

An Interview with Jeff Goins, author of “Wrecked”

Today’s post features an interview with author, Jeff Goins. Tara Alemany, owner of Aleweb Social Marketing, had the opportunity to ask Jeff a few questions recently as part of his virtual tour for his new book, Wrecked, which came out in August 2012.

Jeff Goins, author of Wrecked, interviewed on alewebsocial.comJeff is a writer who lives outside of Nashville with his wife, son, and pup. He works for Adventures in Missions and blogs at goinswriter.com.

When you started your blog in 2010, you had some burning questions about making a living as a writer that you were trying to answer for yourself. (To see Jeff’s questions, click here.) With the recent publication and success of Wrecked, it looks like you found the answers. I’d love it if you could share part of that journey with my readers because it’s a trip they’d all like to take too!

[Read more…]

How to Turn a Facebook Profile into a Page

I had an interesting question come up from a prospective client the other day. For the first time in a long time, I was stumped! An hour later, with lots of research and exploration behind me, I thought I’d share an interesting feature that Facebook added in March 2011. It was new to me!

Say you have a Facebook profile. You’ve got lots of “friends,” but you don’t know most of them. They’ve simply connected with you because you’re a public persona and they want to get to know you better. I know this happens all the time with public figures.

You joined Facebook for the same reason as everyone else; to keep in touch with family and friends. But then these friend requests started pouring in. Like a deer caught in the headlights, you didn’t know what to do. So you accepted the request or ignored it hoping that it would go away. But then in a moment of weakness, you gave in and accepted the backlog of requests just so that you wouldn’t feel guilty anymore. Right?

Now, your newsfeed is flooded with information that you really aren’t interested in, and it’s making it harder to see those gems from your friends and family that you really do care about. You could filter it, as I demonstrate in one of my YouTube videos, but who has the time to go through so many friends and put them in lists?

Did you know that you can convert your Facebook profile into a Facebook page? What? You didn’t? Neither did I!

Here’s the deal. When you migrate a profile to a page:

  • You do lose the old profile. You have to create a new profile for your personal use using a different e-mail address than your old profile. But if the idea is to clean up the profile, starting with a clean slate isn’t a bad thing!
  • Only your profile pictures and friends/subscribers are transferred over to the page. So, backup your content if you have any interest in saving it. It won’t be accessible later. Note: Depending on the number of friends you have, it can take a few hours for all the friends and subscribers to appear as “likes” on the new page. So, don’t worry if they’re not all there right away.
  • Other than the new likes and a profile picture, your new page is blank. Once again, not a bad issue. Just start creating content. At least you’ll be off to a great start with the following.
  • If your profile is the admin for any groups or apps, assign new admins before you migrate. The page will remain an admin for any pages you’re an admin for, but better safe than sorry; I’d add other admins for pages as well.
  • If you have a username specified for your profile (otherwise known as a “vanity URL”), it will be applied to the new page instead. The username for  my page is “AlewebSocial.” That gives me a vanity URL of http://www.facebook.com/AlewebSocial. Facebook doesn’t allow you to change the username of a page with more than 200 “likes,” so depending on how many people are friends, you may not be able to update the username of the page.
  • From what I can piece together, the name of the new page (the page title) is based on the profile name. Therefore, Joe Schmoe’s profile will be displayed as “Joe Schmoe” for the page title. At least that’s my guess. So, if you want a different title, change your profile name before you update the account. The first name could be “Joe Schmoe’s” and the last name “Awesome New Facebook Page.” You get the idea. I have to admit, I have not tried this out yet, but my guess is that it would work. Otherwise, to change a page title, you have to put in a special request with Facebook, and they don’t make it easy.
  • The newsfeed of your new page will be blank because you haven’t “liked” any other pages yet.
  • Some people may be put off by becoming a fan when they thought they were your friend (think old high school classmates, family members, etc.). So, anticipate a drop-off in “likes” soon after the conversion.

Making a page is definitely the right answer, even for personal brands. You need to be in conformance with Facebook’s terms of agreement, otherwise, you risk them shutting your account down.

But there are other reasons for it too. For instance, Google indexes pages, but not profiles. In addition, pages allow much more functionality than profiles do, including adding apps for a mailing list, creating events, etc.

I hope this helps! Since I haven’t had anyone volunteer yet for me to convert their profile, I’ll share someone else’s video of the process for you to see what it looks like.

If you decide that you want to go ahead and try it yourself, just sign into your Facebook profile and go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?migrate to get started.

So, what do you think? Is it time to convert your Facebook profile to a page? Let us know below if you’re daring enough to do it!  😀

The Fun Side of Social Media

Tara Alemany, the Bubble Lady, having fun in TanzaniaYou know, the fun thing about social media, whether you are using it for business or for pleasure, is that it can be an awful lot of fun. There are online events intended simply to be silly, that take us out of our shell and allow us to feel like kids again for a little while.

For instance, on Friday nights at 11 PM ET, there’s the TweetChat #slumberparty hosted by the lovely @DabneyPorte. It is often accompanied by creative hospitality, pillow fights, stolen Diva jets, great music spun by Wayne, and general merriment.

But once a year, there is the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19. This celebration is enjoyed by celebrities like Dave Barry, and everyday folks like you and me.

This year’s celebration is the 10th anniversary of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, otherwise known as “ITLAPD.” With over 82,000 likes on their Facebook page, this online party is a well-attended one.

Yet its popularity and extends beyond Facebook. Their website talklikeapirate.com has a Google page rank of 6 and an Alexa ranking of 259,871 worldwide and 37,696 in the US. The banter and merriment make people want to join in the fun, and this translates to traffic.

For the fact that the majority of their activity is limited to a couple of months a year in the lead up to September 19 each year, that’s an incredible accomplishment.

So as you think about your business, what kind of fun and merriment can you bring to it? This extends beyond contests and polls, which bring limited one-time traffic, into the realm of entertainment. Take for instance the Old Spice viral videos that came out a couple of years ago with the Old Spice Man. They were shared far and wide because of their humorous nature. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself and create a fun environment. Take yourself too seriously and you’ll be considered an old fuddy-duddy. Nobody likes hanging out with a fuddy-duddy.

I know a new business that launched their YouTube video series with their blooper reel, instead of their commercials. They ended up generating a lot of interest in their YouTube channel before they ever put up a single commercial for their brand, simply because they were willing to laugh at themselves. Once they started putting their product commercials, they already had the attention of a rapt audience.

So in honor of making social media a bit more fun, here’s a brief video tutorial on how to change the language settings in Facebook to “English (Pirate).” The same technique can be used to change the Facebook language settings to anything else you choose as well.

So, give us an “Arr!” below, and scrawl somethin’ tellin’ us what your favorite way is to have fun with social media.

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.

Staying “Top of Mind” While Marketing Your Book

Anyone who has authored a book knows that there are a million ways to market it. Some tactics are subtle and friendly, while others are more “in your face.” A solid marketing strategy for your book includes a careful mixture of both. You have to let people know your book exists, but then gently remind them as time goes on. It’s a fine line between being enthusiastic and being nauseating. Enthusiastic is good, but don’t be a turn-off to your prospective readers by beating them over the head with it.

Today’s tip will show you one of those tactics intended more to remind people that your book exists rather than directly tell them about it. The nice thing is, if they want to learn more, they can click through and do just that! But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Watch the video below to learn how you can add the Facebook page for your book to your work history in your profile. If you don’t have a Facebook page for your book yet, give us a call and we’ll help you get one set up.

You can do the same thing for your LinkedIn profile. (Once again, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, we’re here to help!)

By linking to your book in both of these places, you’re leaving a subtle reminder for people connected to you that directs them to where they can find more information about your book.

Remember, one of the rules of marketing is to stay “top of mind.” You want your book to be the first thing they think of when they go to pick up a new one, and you can subtly do that by keeping the title visible wherever you interact with people.

At the same time, this additional visibility for your book title helps to grow your platform, enabling more people to be aware of what you’re working on and generating potential interest in your future projects.

What are some of the other subtle ways that you stay “top of mind” for your readers?

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?

Getting What You Want From Your Facebook Newsfeed

A client wrote recently and said:

I’m… distressed that things I signed onto, I may not be getting. I don’t know what I need to do to be certain I always receive the feed from some of the groups I’ve “liked”.

The  Facebook newsfeed can be a bit confusing at times. For the most part, we accept what it is that Facebook shows us, and hope that it’s what we really want to be seeing.

Thankfully, I know a few rebels who like to be in control of their destinies in a variety of ways, one of which is, they’re not about ready to let a machine tell them what’s of interest to them and what’s not!  🙂

So, in response to my client’s uncertainty and my friends’ persnickety natures, I created this brief video tutorial to let you know how the newsfeed actually works within Facebook, and to offer suggestions as to how you can define what information you’re shown.

After you’ve watched it, if you have questions or any other mysteries you’d like Aleweb to shed some light on, post them in the comments below.

Facebook Timeline is Coming to Pages!

Today I sent the following e-mail to my Facebook clients. But I wanted to make sure that yougot it too!

____________________________________________________

I wanted to make sure that you’d heard that the new Facebook Timeline format is now available for pages. The current projection is that all pages will be automatically converted to the new format at the end of March. (I say “current projection” because there were multiple projected roll-outs for the personal Timeline format, and few of them were met!)

FB cover image

 

I recommend that you go to your page, click on the Preview button so that you can familiarize yourself with the new layout, and make any changes you want or need before the roll-out takes place.

If your page is ready, you can go ahead and initiate the switch yourself, rather than waiting.

Here are some key things you’ll need to know about Timeline for businesses.

  1. Design or select a great cover image. That’s the long image that goes across the top of the page. For the rules about what you can have in a cover photo, go tohttps://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=276329115767498. Important things to note?
  2. The cover photo can be up to850px by 315px but may NOT contain the following:

    • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”.
    • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’sAbout section.
    • References to user interface elements, such asLikeorShare, or any other Facebook site features.
    • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
  3. Default landing tabs have gone away! That’s a disappointment for many businesses who use that space to engage prospective clients. [Note:The tab still exists on your page, there’s just no way to send non-fans directly there.]
  4. You can pin a favorite post to the top of your page. This is where you could show a video, or do some of the other things that you once did with your landing page. Not a great alternative, but it takes a little bit of the sting out.
  5. All tabs are still available. But they’re wider now – 810px. So, you’ll want to make sure the content or apps you’re using fit the extra space nicely.
  6. You can now message pages using the Facebook chat feature. You can even install Facebook messenger on your desktop so that you can keep in touch with people without having Facebook open. That opens up some interesting customer service opportunities!
  7. As with your personal Timeline, business Timelines display photos, likes and apps at the top of the page. Photos will always appear in the first position, but you can change the order of everything after that. Since the first few are the only ones displayed, make sure you’ve got the most important ones first!
  8. There’s a new Admin panel for accessing your notifications, insights, likes and messages. This panel is at the top of your page, and you can hide and display it at will. Keep in mind, it’s only visible to admins of the page. So, leaving it displayed will never affect your visitors’ view of the page.

[Note: If you’re interested in a few more details related to the new features, check out Michael’s blog entry over at Local Band Review.]

As with the personal Timeline roll-out, you can use this time before the new format goes live to “tidy up a bit.” Get rid of posts that are no longer relevant by removing them from your wall. Remove tags for your business on photos or videos that aren’t appropriate. Sort and re-order photos, videos and apps to display the most important things first.

And if you get stuck with anything, or just need help getting ready, give us a call!