Put an End to the Overwhelm

I hear it all the time. Authors, speakers, entrepreneurs, designers, photographers, small business owners, Realtors, plumbers, job seekers… They are all facing the same problem.

Marketing is time-consuming! Especially when you’re trying to figure it out as you go.

Actually, the whole thing can become simply overwhelming. Since they don’t know where to start, they often don’t get started or they make slower progress than they want and need to.

That’s one of the reasons that I write this blog.

I enjoy helping people find the tools and techniques that really work.

I like to take a specific issue and figure out the best way of fixing it, so that I can then pass it along to my clients and readers.

Whenever possible, I prefer to test things out for my own needs before recommending them to anyone else. But sometimes the best I can do is research it, knowing the needs of my clients, and let you know which I would choose if I were going to be using it.

Know what you want to accomplish

That exact situation came up recently. I was in conversation with a friend on Facebook who was looking for a magazine designer.

Since there are many different approaches that can be taken to designing a magazine, I asked her some leading questions.

  • Did she want her magazine to be online, in print or both?
  • Did she want to design her magazine online or upload a PDF that was displayed in an online reader?
  • Did she want flexibility in her design (for enhanced creativity) or did she want a template she could work from (for ease of use)?
  • Did she want just text and images in her magazine or other types of content like video, MP3 and ecommerce options?

These were just a few of the questions we discussed.

Find the right tools

In this particular context, my friend was looking at potentially using LucidPress to generate her magazine. I’d also found FlipSnack and suggested she compare the two, along with Issuu, which is a popular online document viewer.

She narrowed down her choices to LucidPress and FlipSnack and asked what I thought of them. So, I took a few minutes to look at the features and functionality of both, and to research a few comparison articles to see what existing users thought of them.

What I found was that selecting the right tool was contingent on knowing how you wanted to use it and what you wanted to get out of it. (Isn’t that always the case!)

A wrench is not just a wrench

A field of nuts with one selectedAs an author, speaker or entrepreneur, it’s important to know, first, what your objective is and then, second, what your preferred operating method is, before making a choice about the tools and platforms you want to integrate into your business.

If the tool makes things harder for you, it’s not the right one.

If it limits your ability to achieve your objective, it’s still not the right one.

Look for tools that are the right fit for you.

Don’t just assume that because everyone else is using it, you should too. Everyone else is not you!

I was commenting to my son recently about the wide selection of socket wrench handles hanging on a hardware store wall. You might think that a wrench is a wrench is a wrench. But that’s simply not true.

There are different size wrenches (1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″, 1-1/2″, 2-1/2″ and 3-1/2″ to start with), ratcheting and non-ratcheting, fixed socket or interchangeable, metric, standard and Torx sockets, and so on.

Even if you settle on the specific tool you want, you’ll find that one manufacturer’s handle has a different grip than another’s. And while both may be perfectly usable, one fits your hand better than another.

Use the tools that are right for you

The same is true as you build your business. There are plenty of tools out there to work with. But you need to know what job you want to use the tool for (to make sure it has the right functionality to accomplish the task), as well as which one suits you best.

You could have the best tool in the world, but if it’s not something you’re comfortable with, you’re simply not going to use it!

That’s a frequent conversation that I have with my authors.

Which social media platform should I be on?

What is the absolute best method of marketing my book without a budget?

What’s the one thing I should do every day to reach my audience?

There is no “one size fits all” answer to that. It’s unique because you are you and your ideal reader is your ideal reader. You aren’t everyone else.

That’s why it’s critical to develop a marketing strategy that has you, your offering and your market in mind.

It’s also how consulting a marketing strategist can help you create an optimized plan that ensures that your budget is being applied to the activities that will work best for your specific product, goals and audience.

Fitting the pieces together

Connecting the pieces

So, if you are feeling stuck or if your book marketing simply isn’t getting the results you want, I encourage you to book a strategy call with me and get unstuck! I can help you connect the pieces so that you feel confident about your next steps.

Oh, and if you were interested in the outcome of the LucidPress vs. FlipSnack review, check back next week and I’ll share those results.

 

Do You Have a Social Media Will?

[10/29/2015 Update: The government article referenced below
has since been taken down, although the content is still relevant.]

I know… I know… This post is a bit off topic for my usual social media writing. I’m not going to teach you today how to do any neat things with your social profiles. I’m not going to recommend new sites or tools to play with. (Well… maybe I’m not). Instead, what I’m going to do is pose a very important question.

Do you have a social media will?

You may be wondering to yourself, “what the heck is she talking about?” But bear with me for a minute. In April 2012, the U.S. government updated their Personal Finance article about writing a will. Their updated recommendation got a lot of folks in the social media world buzzing because they added a section about writing a “Social Media Will.”

Pundits considered what this might look like and discussed the potential issues involved in writing one. For example, a will is a legal document and, as such, it is a matter of public record. Part of the challenge is, you’re supposed to provide your social media executor with a list of all your social profile user names and passwords along with instructions as to what you’d like done with them. Obviously, you don’t want those as part of any public record!

In addition, good internet protocol requires regularly updating your passwords, and new sites come along all the time requiring new accounts and related passwords. So how do you keep your social media directive up-to-date?

While no one likes to think of their own demise, this topic hit home for me when my fiance died late last year. While he wasn’t “into” social media, he did have multiple e-mail accounts, a blog, and a couple of social profiles out there. He was also moderator of a very active Yahoo Group. I was thankful that he had given me his e-mail password long ago, and that ultimately allowed me to identify and access his other accounts.

It came to mind for me again this week when Tony Robbins’ long-time business partner, Chet Holmes, passed away on August 13, and a friend of mine, Howard Tuckey, posted on Facebook the same day about discovering that an online friend of his had passed away. Howard and I got talking about how some of the friendships we develop online are as real and as lasting as those we have in person, even though we may never actually meet in person. Some even become like family, or “eKin,” to us.(By the way, Howard and I have been online friends since the late ’80s, and we’ve never met — that we can recall — there was that TEXTMOOT we may have jointly attended…)

Anyway, as we discussed how it is that online friends find out about the passing of another, Howard and I thought of a few different ideas. Of course, out of respect for families and legal due process, such announcements should be initiated by the family or with their permission, however, it would be an interesting element to cover in a social media will. Why not, in addition to leaving account names, passwords and disposition instructions, leave instructions as to how friends connected with those accounts are to be informed of one’s death?

So, here’s what I propose a social media will consist of. But please note, I’m not a lawyer and haven’t run this past a lawyer, so there may be some flaw in it. Don’t sue me!

RoboformRather than writing out all the profile names, passwords and instructions for each site, use a tool like Roboform to manage your account information. (You can download a copy here.)

  1. In the Notes section for each entry, specify what you want done with the account in the event of your death, and if and how connections to the account should be notified.
  2. Store the password to your Roboform account with your legal documents in a safe place, making sure that your social media executor knows where it is stored.
  3. Make sure it stays current as you change your Roboform password.

The nice thing about using Roboform in this way is that your account can be accessed from any computer, so long as the person has your account and password info for it. This way, even family members who live halfway across the country can process your instructions without having access to your computer.