target audience

Get to Know Your Target Audience’s Behavior for Social Media Success

Social media is incredibly simple. All you have to do is sign up for an account, type in your message, and hit send. Customers or clients will flock, right?

Wrong.

One of the biggest misconceptions about social media is its simplicity. The fact that your 13-year-old nephew knows how to navigate Facebook leads you to believe you should be able to make it work for your business without batting an eyelash. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of business owners get tripped up.

Just because you have a successful, six-figure business off of social media, doesn’t mean it will be an automatic success on social media.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself if you’re struggling to get your business humming on social media:

Where Is Your Target Audience Spending its Time?

When you’re launching your business, it’s tempting to think of the key social media players — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest — and believe you have to have a presence on each of them. If your target audience isn’t there, though, you won’t get much traction.

It’s also important to know why they’re spending their time there. If you’re targeting school teachers, for example, you might immediately think of Pinterest as a platform you should invest in. If you’re targeting them because you offer professional development courses, however, LinkedIn or Twitter may actually be better options.

You can’t just think of where your target audience is hanging out, you must also consider why.

How Will Your Clients or Customers Find You?

Map out your customer’s or client’s frame of mind to best understand where you should be focusing your attention.

Let’s go back to our teacher example. You offer professional development courses for teachers. You’ve been putting your efforts into Pinterest with no luck, so you do a little digging. It turns out your target audience is on Pinterest … but they’re using the platform to find lesson plan ideas and DIY projects.

What should you do?

  1. Change the approach: Since your target audience likes DIY projects, what if you created DIY professional development? You could offer printouts or forms they could fill out themselves, then link to additional information (i.e. course materials) on your website.
  2. Change the platform: Maybe Pinterest isn’t the right platform for what you offer, even though your target audience is there. Shift focus to a platform that fosters networking and professional development like Twitter or LinkedIn.
  3. Change the audience: The audience you typically go after may not respond on Pinterest, but perhaps a different audience on Pinterest will. Maybe school administrators use Pinterest to find professional development materials for their teachers.

How does Your Target Audience communicate?

Just because something works on a billboard doesn’t mean it will work on Facebook or Twitter. Each social media platform exists to fill a specific communication need.

I may spend time on Twitter while I’m watching a TV show. Facebook is where I share family photos and engage within communities I’m a part of. I enjoy YouTube to watch hysterical spoof videos. Pinterest is where I find recipes.

Your audience may spend time on each of these platforms for entirely different reasons. It’s important to get inside the heads of your avatar and understand why they enjoy Facebook, Snapchat, or LinkedIn.

That’s the key to understanding how you should be communicating.

How Does the Platform Work?

Each social media platform has it’s own tips and tricks.

  • If you’re posting to Facebook, you better be aware of the dreaded algorithm.
  • Incorporate relevant hashtags on Twitter (you can research on hashtagify.me).
  • LinkedIn prefers longer posts within it’s publisher.
  • Instagram only allows one dynamic link for each account.
  • The list goes on and on …

Final Thoughts

You may take a look at this list and decide it isn’t worth the trouble – you’d rather hire someone. If that’s the case, reach out to me and we can schedule a discovery call — I’d be happy to do the heavy lifting for you!

I am also gauging interest for 60-minute social media strategy sessions! If that’s something you’re interested in, please let me know!

influencer marketing

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing to Grow Your Brand

Any online promotional strategy should include an influencer marketing piece.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you. – Tap Influencer

I personally recommend that you focus on the organic side of this strategy. As a successful business owner, you have an audience that can provide something to the influencer, so paying or hiring someone isn’t necessary. The key is finding a mutual benefit between the two of you.

A Case Study Metaphor: Fitness Guru

Let’s say you are a fitness guru, building your business around online consultations. You have found success through referrals and have modest followings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You’d like to expand your online reach as a way to automate your lead generation process.

You’ve believe influencer marketing can help you achieve this goal. Where do you start? There are a number of parameters to keep in mind when determining who you will reach out to, when, and how.

Who

Who will you reach out to? There are a few rules of thumb when considering the influencers you’re going to engage with as part of your influencer marketing strategy.

  1. Choose a non-competitor. Yes, your competitors will be the most relevant to your brand, but you don’t want to open that can of worms. Not only may you be perceived as trying to steal audience members from your competitors, you’re shifting the attention of your audience to someone else who offers your services.
  2. Choose a mid-level influencer. Don’t reach so high that your effort gets lost in a sea of tags and shoutouts. “Internet famous” people are inundated with messages and yours will easily get lost. There are exceptions to this, though, that we will get into another time.
  3. Choose a related industry professional. It’s important that the person you choose can benefit from your audience and vice versa. While there are situations in which you will simply post something and pray an influencer throws you a bone, it’s ideal to choose someone who will appreciate the additional traffic you are providing him or her.

When

Influencer marketing can happen anytime, but basing it around a particular article or event will generate the best results.

When someone in your field publishes an article, engages in an interview, or holds an event, he or she is looking to expand business reach. By giving a shoutout to that person in light of that content or event, you are becoming a part of their promotional strategy.

They will appreciate you recognizing their hard work and endorsing it as something others would benefit from.

How

How do you implement an influencer marketing strategy? You can write a blog on your website that mentions and links to the influencer, offer a shoutout on social media, or create a video that mentions the person or business.

The key is promoting what you do on a social media platform your influencer is a part of. Here are the best platforms for influencer marketing, ranked best to least best:

  1. Twitter. I LOVE Twitter for influencer marketing. You don’t have to get through any red tape to get to the person or brand you are engaging with and the benefit can be instant. If the brand you are engaging with retweets what you post, you’ve already expanded your reach. If you are engaging around a particular event, make sure you use that event’s hashtag.
  2. LinkedIn. Since LinkedIn is a B2B platform, you are going to get a lot of bang for your buck when you tag someone else within the news feed. Mention someone within an original blog you write and then post it along with a tag. You can also share content from an influencer on your timeline and give it a little endorsement while tagging the person or brand. This will expand your reach, but it will also nudge someone you are trying to woo into becoming a client or customer.
  3. Instagram. You can repost someone’s photo on Instagram, comment, or share. If you have a big, relevant following, reposting with their handle will go a long way. If you don’t know how to repost within Instagram, check out repostapp.
  4. Facebook. The best way to gain traction on Facebook is to share someone else’s post and tag their page when you do. This most taps into the “good karma” category. It’s a good strategy if you’re looking to gain this person or brand as a lead for your business because you’re starting out the relationship by giving them something for nothing.

Finishing Our Case Study

Now that we’ve gone through all of that, let’s finish our case study. Our fitness guru is looking to expand reach to automate lead generation. How might she tap into influencer marketing to do that?

  • Find complementary services. Fitness goes hand-in-hand with diet and nutrition. While our guru may offer services around diet plans, she can share recipes from healthy eating brands,  articles written about clean eating, or other fitness gurus that work in a different niche. For example, if our fitness guru specializes in yoga, she could share the work of a weightlifter. For everything she shares, she would tag the handle of the brand.
  • Tap into challenges. Twitter and Instagram are great platforms to find people engaging in a particular activity because of the use of hashtags. Research the top hashtags for training for a 5K or marathon and comment on the posts of those people. During the race, use the event hashtag to offer encouragement to those participating and give a shoutout to the face facilitator.
  • Engage the stars. Once a strong enough following is built (at least 1,000 followers on each platform), our fitness guru can work to engage in conversation with some of the stars in her industry. Comment on their articles, compliment their business, and express admiration!
  • Engage the media. A great influencer marketing strategy on Twitter is to engage media that covers your industry. Our guru can retweet articles and reply to tweets to compliment content they’ve created (she’ll want to reference the content so they know she actually read it). Once she’s built a rapport with those media members, she can start pitching them for her own stories.

Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it, and there is plenty more where that came from! While these are great tips that apply to any business, digging into the customization of each brand and each target will open up even more possibilities.

How have you tapped into influencer marketing? What has it done for your business?

repurpose content

How to Repurpose Content for Your Business

When you’re running a successful business, taking time to generate content is difficult enough without trying to create multiple forms of content.

What should you create? Live Facebook video? A blog article? A photo? Where should you post it? It’s already overwhelming and you haven’t even determined what you’re going to say.

I, personally, love content and the many ways it can be used, which is why I’m sharing a few ideas for how you can repurpose content to be relevant across multiple platforms.

Facebook LIVE

I just did my first-ever LIVE Facebook video since I preach it’s importance to my clients, but had never done one myself.

The reason Facebook LIVE is a medium you want to invest in for your business is because Facebook is trying to grow that aspect of its platform. When you go live, it notifies everyone on your page that you’re live, drawing attention to your content.

After the video is over, it converts to on demand content with a higher weight (e.g. higher level of importance) than video that was never live.

But hey, you’re not done!

  1. First thing’s first, write a blog post around the video. You can transcribe some of the things you said and quote them within your blog or you can write on a related topic.
  2. Embed your video within your blog and extend the life of your video through cross-promotion.
  3. Make 5–10 key quotes tweets on Twitter and link to the blog. This will push traffic to the blog and, ultimately, to Facebook.

Podcast Interviews

If you are regularly featured on podcasts, you have a wealth of content at your fingertips and you may not even recognize it! Podcasts can be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. They frequently contain in-depth conversation between you and a reputable podcaster.

What should you do with that once you podcast is released?

      1. Thank your interviewer! Wherever your podcast interviewer has an account, thank that person by tagging them and linking to the interview on their website.
      2. Transcribe the interview. For longer podcasts, this may seem really daunting, but the content is gold. You have someone focused on you for an hour … you want to repurpose that content as much as possible!
      3. Write blog posts using those transcripts. You may be able to come up with 2–3 posts from one podcast. Embed the audio from the podcast within your blog posts and tag the person who owns the podcast every time you promote your blogs on social media.

These actions accomplish a few things. You are …

      1. Getting the most out of your content!
      2. Showcasing your expertise to your audience by broadcasting that you were featured on someone else’s podcast.
      3. Showing other podcasters how creative you are with your content and how much publicity they will get by having you on the show.

Curated Content

Curated content is a great way to spread the word about your business while networking with top influencers. If you have specific writers, podcasters, or industry professionals you follow and admire, you can cite their content within a blog for your website.

Let’s say you are a podcaster. Another podcaster comes out with a great article, “The 10 best ways to book your featured guests.” You, however, have had success in other areas this person didn’t mention.

You can give a shoutout to the original blogger by summarizing what he or she said and linking back to the original post. Then you can add your additional tips.

This gives you a brand new piece of content while you did little work and you are networking with another influencer in your space.

Final Thoughts

      • Be creative with your content! When you take the time to put together an amazing video or be a guest on someone’s podcast, get the very most you can out of the time you spent.
      • When you give love to others within your industry, it will come back around! Your brand will be mentioned on social media, you’ll be invited to appear on other podcasts. Trust me, it happens.
      • Be on the lookout for great content by others! You may be able to leverage it for yourself by responding to or enhancing it … and you give someone else a shoutout at the same time! It’s all about networking.

Do these ideas seem fantastic but you just don’t have the time to make them happen? Reach out for a discovery call. I love repurposing content for my clients!

Facebook

Let’s Take the Mystery out of Facebook So It Can Help Your Business

There are countless ways Facebook can help your business, but even the most intelligent entrepreneurs struggle to crack its code.

While it’s simple to use, it can feel like you’re shouting to no one, pushing out post after post to little fanfare. You may even find yourself questioning your own skills.

This can’t be that difficult … can it?

The answer is yes and no. Facebook is a powerful tool you can leverage for your business, but it can easily become a nuisance if you don’t understand how it works.

Here’s the key: give Facebook what it wants, and you’ll see a return.

1. Facebook Wants Your Money

It’s harsh, but it’s true.

Facebook is a robust advertising asset because it collects everything. Do you need to promote your content to women who recently had a baby? Someone who just changed jobs? A person afflicted with Lyme disease?

You can target all of that within the ad manager and that’s the route the platform wants you to take. Organic content — or content left to perform without paying to promote it — can work, but it has become increasingly difficult for businesses just starting out.

Facebook has made it tough for businesses to build an engaged audience without paid advertising, so it should be expected when you’re earning your first 1,000 followers.

2. Facebook Wants You to Engage its Users

Speaking of an engaged audience, that’s what Facebook wants you to have. The user experience is extremely important to the brand, which is why shares, comments, and likes will increase exposure of your content to your followers.

Have you ever logged onto the platform and seen a post with “Jane and Joe recently liked this post …” at the top? That’s a post receiving a lot of likes, comments, and shares, so Facebook believes you’ll want to see it, too.

It’s how it weights published content: when a post gets a lot of attention right away, it jumps to the top of the news feed. Create content your followers want to engage with and you’ll generate more exposure for your brand.

3. Facebook Wants You to Record Videos

That’s right, Facebook wants to be the No. 1 source for online video, and it’s well on its way. In fact, it predicts that the news feed will contain only video within the next five years.

If Facebook wants it’s platform to be video-focused, it means it’s going to help things along by favoring video posts. This past March, Facebook changed it’s algorithm to give preference to live video vs. on demand. It’s why you will get a notification if a page you follow is going live.

Here’s what this means for you: get on the video train, or it’s going to leave without you. Whether you’re talking to your audience, conducting a Q&A, or posting live from an event you’re attending, you will increase your traction by dabbling in video.

Additional tips

  • If you have a large following on YouTube, you may be posting YouTube links to your Facebook page. What you may not know is that YouTube links won’t do well within the news feed because Facebook wants you to natively upload them to their platform.
  • Are you open to putting a bit of money into Facebook ads? Make sure you have a clear focus when you do. Boosting random posts for additional clicks may be fun, but it’s wasting money if you don’t have a specific objective.
  • When you’re earning those first 1,000 followers, cross-promote your page as much as possible. Since Facebook allows you to embed its content, you can upload a video and then include it in a blog post. It’s a win-win: you give Facebook what it wants (video) and you promote your page to your blog audience!

I could dig so much deeper into each of these areas! Do you find these tips are too simple or too complex? Let me know which of these is most helpful to you by commenting below!

market your business

The Fortune is in the Focus: How to Properly Market Your Business

Why do some marketing campaigns succeed while others fail? The fortune is in the focus.

Throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it will stick may ultimately get you to your goal, but it will be a painful process. Having a clear idea of what you are looking to achieve so you can map your route from Point A to Point B is significantly more efficient.

To get started, we’ll map out three necessary elements of a marketing campaign. Let’s take a look at a fictional business — a brick-and-mortar candy shop — as a way to illustrate each point.

Know Your Goal

What is the goal of this candy shop? Don’t jump the gun! Yes, the goal is entice individuals to purchase candy, but let’s get even more specific than that.

As a content marketing effort, the company writes a blog post about their love for Halloween. The title and social media messaging are critical to converting passive readers of that blog post into attentive, potential customers.

For example, a generic title or social media post may read, “Candy Corner’s Love of Halloween Has Lasted A Decade.” That line is accurate, but it doesn’t speak to the business focus, which is to draw people to the store.

A more focused title or post may read, “Candy Corner is a Must-Stop Shop on Halloween.”

The story itself is the same in both examples, but the messaging in the focused post is specifically targeted toward the business goal.

Know Your Worth

What is it you are offering your customers or clients? Be careful with this one because it isn’t always what you believe to be the obvious answer.

In our candy store example, your knee-jerk response may be that this particular business is offering customers candy. Easy enough, right?

While that may be true, promoting “candy” as the reason customers should purchase won’t set this business apart from others. The key is to look at the differentiating factors between this business and the competition.

A few things to consider:

  • How many stores are there specifically dedicated to candy nowadays? Perhaps this business is providing an experience to customers beyond walking into a chain store to purchase candy.
  • What kind of variety exists within this candy store? More than likely, a candy store will have a much wider selection than a grocery store.
  • Is the product of higher quality than packaged candy? Maybe this store makes their own candy or chocolate without preservatives.

Understanding what sets your business apart from the competition is critical to an effective marketing campaign.

Know Your Audience

You must get inside the heads of your target customers to know why they are the right people to buy from you. Making this a bit more tricky, you may have multiple audiences you are targeting at any given time.

For our fictional candy store, there would be multiple audiences:

  • Grandparents may come to the store because they want to have a fun day out with grandchildren and provide them something special. Messaging may speak to “spoiling” them.
  • Parents may appreciate the higher quality of candy. Messaging may speak to ingredients, fewer preservatives, or better taste.
  • Older individuals may have a sense of nostalgia going to a candy store as they did when they were younger. Messaging can speak to re-living their youth.
  • Children are an obvious target audience, but this is a great example a need for a different marketing strategy. How much money will children have and how will they get to your store? While they will consume your product, they may not be one of your primary targets.

The audience you speak to will depend on which is the most likely to convert. You may start with one group and then add another once you’ve found success with the first.

It’s important that you don’t try to speak to everyone at once. The more specific you are with your targeting, the better the results. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s true that when you try to speak to everyone, you ultimately speak to no one.

How do you focus your marketing campaigns? Where do you start and how do you come up with your messaging?

new clients

A Client Being the Wrong Fit Doesn’t Make YOU Wrong

As I have immersed myself into a world of female entrepreneurs, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to have a woman-centered business – especially when it comes to look for new clients.

Many female businesses have a strong why attached to them — women want to start a business to change or influence the world. The result? It puts their hearts smack dab in the middle of their businesses.

It reminds me of Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail. Her independent bookstore, which had been in her family for generations, is purchased by Tom Hanks’ character (the owner of the movie’s version of Barnes and Noble).

He tells her the buyout “wasn’t personal.”

What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me. It’s personal to a lot of people. And what’s so wrong with being personal, anyway?

Many female entrepreneurs operate their businesses personally, because they have a genuine cause behind them. So when a client relationship doesn’t work out, it’s easy to take it personally and believe it’s because there’s something wrong with the business.

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve had a client relationship that didn’t work out. Let me ask you this: did you find your mind drifting toward self- or business-doubt?

If this client doesn’t want my services, are my services wrong?

Am I not as good as I thought I was?

Even the most confident business owners may have fleeting moments of doubt.

Here are a few things I ask myself when a business relationship or partnership turns out to be the wrong fit:

1. Was I Looking in the Right Place for New Clients?

Let’s say you’re a fitness consultant who specializes in quick, 5-10 minute workouts for busy moms. If you’re marketing your services to a group of hardcore gym rats, you’re going to fail and — quickly — lose your business confidence. Hardcore gym rats want to spend hours working out in the gym. You’ll hear no after no after no.

Does that mean you have a horrible service? Of course not! It just means you’re looking in the wrong place for new clients. A hardcore gym rat doesn’t bring the right set of qualifications to the table to make the relationship a good fit.

It’s up to you to make the proper adjustments to find people with the right set of qualifications: busy moms with little-to-no time to exercise.

2. Why Did This Seemingly-Ideal Client Become Not-so Ideal?

Sometimes a prospect seems to be exactly what you’re looking for, only to reveal itself as the wrong fit. Let’s go back to the fitness consultant example. You’re out for coffee with a friend when you strike up a conversation with a woman wearing workout gear. She’s just come from her spinning class.

What a coincidence! you say, I have a set of workouts I’ve developed that you may be interested in! This woman is, in fact, a busy mom and she clearly likes to exercise. You schedule a discovery call. You call her the following day, excited to add new business. At the end of the call, however, she tells you she’s not interested.

What went wrong?

It turns out that this woman really enjoys going to her spinning classes so she can be social with her friends. The idea of exercising alone in her living room just doesn’t appeal to her.

You’re totally bummed, but the first thing you shouldn’t do is internalize it and tell yourself you have a bad product. What you should do is refine your search process and stop prospecting women who attend classes at the gym.

3. Was There A Point I Should Have Said No?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new client, especially when you are in the business of impacting lives for the better! When a potential business relationship doesn’t work out, though, it’s important to ask yourself if there were any points along the way that you should have said no.

Maybe in our last example, the fact that the woman had just come from a spinning class should have been a red flag. Have you ever found yourself qualifying the red flags because you’re so eager for a little extra money, a new client to help, or the rush of a “win?”

Sure, she’s just come from spinning class, you may think, but just because she enjoys going to the gym doesn’t mean she won’t like doing my workouts, too! After all, she likes to work out and she’s a busy mom. I’ll make this exception and she just might work out!

When we act like the client is doing us a favor, we set ourselves up for disappointment. It’s important to enter into a prospecting situation looking for mutual benefit. Don’t make concessions so the client will say yes. Stay true to you, whether it’s in regards to business philosophy, money, or communication style.

As a female entrepreneur with an eye toward making a difference, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to help everyone and growing discouraged when it doesn’t work out. Know that these things happen and that you shouldn’t want to be all things to all people!

Keep your eye on the right clients for you and keep on keeping on — it will all work out!

video

How Video is King … and Social Media Success Summit

smss-image-101116Doing what works isn’t always easy. Or convenient. Or pleasant.

As a digital marketing consultant, I sometimes find myself in a position of having to explain to a client why he or she should do something that fits within the aforementioned category. It’s tough, especially since I don’t always have stats readily available to support what I know to be true.

That’s why I registered for Social Media Success Summit — to have access to an amazing panel of experts that would support and add to the knowledge I already have.

So far I haven’t been disappointed.

What I Already Knew to be True

Heading into SMSS, I already knew that video was king. After all, Facebook embraced the idea of being provider of all videos which means we all have to follow suit or be banned to a world of zero engagement (aka algorithm hell).

Live video has become “the thing” for businesses (and direct sales individuals) to take advantage of because:

  • It pushes out a notification to your followers/friends announcing you’re live – instant promotion!
  • Once you are finished recording, an archived video lives on your page or profile.
  • Facebook loves videos, which earns you special treatment on the news feed. Think of it as your child being on his or her best behavior in order to get dessert. Give Facebook what it wants and you will get more of what you want: exposure!

What Presenters Validated

We are barely into the second week of SMSS and I’m blown away by the volume of quality content. I have watched a handful of presentations live (others I can listen or watch on demand), all giving me applicable information I can use immediately.

  • Amy Schmittauer is the founder of Savvy Sexy Social. Her presentation supported the notion that chronicling our story through video is critical to developing a brand message. She also drove the point home that businesses must engage with each social media platform differently.
  • Mari Smith is a top Facebook Marketing Expert. Mari dug into the dreaded Facebook algorithm, reminding us social media marketers that achieving organic reach is something that takes time, effort, and VIDEO.
  • Donna Moritz of Socially Sorted presented seven visual marketing tools to help posts stand out. After hearing Amy and Mari talk about the “what,” it was awesome to receive the “how” from Donna!

What Worked Immediately

I put the advice and tools of all three ladies into practice right away and saw immediate results. Even better? The results were with two brand new clients who hired me to expand their Facebook reach.

Both clients already have established audiences and thriving businesses, but were missing the mark on Facebook. Video is something I was already pushing prior to SMSS, but receiving expert advice from Amy, Mari, and Donna had me packing a bit more of a punch.

Though one of these clients had to step outside her comfort zone and the other had to make the time to make the video, both took the leap and both saw an immediate increase in reach!

That is what I am loving about SMSS — it is showing me that my expertise is right on track while providing me with tangible resources to back it up!

Can’t wait for the next 2 1/2 weeks!

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social media

How Should You Dress for Each Social Media Platform’s Party?

This was the first week of the Social Media Success Summit and I’m having a blast!

The idea of attending a conference in my workout clothes that I listen to on demand while driving was too good to pass up. It doesn’t hurt that all of the presenters are the top in their fields! Kudos to Social Media Examiner for providing this incredible resource.

One of my favorite presentations so far has been Amy Schmittauer of Savvy Sexy Social. She was tasked (off the cuff, mind you) with attributing each social media platform with a party you would attend.

Now, I fully appreciate this exercise because I have numerous clients who say things like, “I don’t even understand the purpose of {insert social media platform here} — I just don’t get it!”

Well, Amy’s analogies will help you understand.

Facebook: A Family Reunion

I am 34 years old and I’m finally starting to feel old. I’ve heard many sub-30 individuals refer to Facebook as the platform “for old people.” That’s when I finally looked around and recognized … it is for old people!

Unfortunately — for those who hate it — that Facebook family reunion is a necessity for just about every business because everyone’s there. Regardless, dress like you’re about to meet Aunt Hilga. And, if you have a new beauty product for Aunt Hilga to try, Facebook is the place to be.

Twitter: A Networking Event

I will admit that I have semi-recently fallen madly in love with Twitter. Many clients have expressed to me their misunderstanding of Twitter’s purpose, but it is a fantastic place to talk to influencers and get on their radar.

It’s crazy that Twitter has turned into a B2B platform and PR tool, but it totally has. Even better are the improvements the platform has made to prove to the world it can be monetized. I see you, Twitter. I see you.

SnapChat … or … Snap: A Rave

Okay, Snapchat is now just “Snap” and, frankly, the platform scares me a tad. I have a love-hate relationship with it. Sometimes I feel like it’s the place to be and other times I feel like the grandma who stumbled into a high school party.

Amy was dead on when she called it a rave (she then clarified that she had never actually been to a rave … sure, Amy), because it’s a huge party where anything goes. If you’re looking for all the young people, head over to Snap(chat). Now, Instagram has replicated Snap(chat)’s efforts with Instavideos, but it’s not the same.

Party on.

Instagram: Fashion Week

Yes, Amy. Yes. Fashion Week. Instagram is classy. If you’re looking to visually promote your business, it is the place to be. Now, I don’t have much else to say about it from a social media marketing standpoint, so I’ll go off on a small tangent.

I hear all the time how people “fake” their lives on Instagram, staging items to make their lives seem perfect. Sure, you see the beautiful dinner on the plate, but do you see the piles of dishes and the mess in the background?

I get that argument, but, really … who cares? I think Instagram is a beautiful platform to showcase art, whether that art is food, kids, or scenery. If I’m pretending all I do is sit by the pool with my computer all day, who cares? It’s art. Carry on.

Honorable Mentions

Amy didn’t have time to get to all the platforms, so I’ll add a few:

  • Pinterest: A scrapbooking party or teacher meeting
  • LinkedIn: A travel-for-work conference
  • Google+: College orientation – you go out of necessity
  • YouTube: A frat party

Do you have any fun descriptions for social media platforms? Add them in the comments!

female entrepreneurs

Why I Believe Female Entrepreneurs are the Best to Work With

I spent the first decade of my career in a male-focused field where women were the exception, not the rule. I equated stereotypical masculinity with power and pushed down my feminine qualities in the hopes of getting ahead.

Fast forward three years and I recognize feminine toughness and the power it wields. So many women are getting business right because they have their priorities straight and are secure with who they are.

See if you relate to these four ways of conducting business:

1. There is no such thing as work-life balance.

For successful female entrepreneurs, work-life balance is a myth. There is no special formula that will allow one to reach harmonious rhythm.

Work is life and life is work.

Female entrepreneurs make a living doing what they love while remaining flexible for self and family. There is no juggling necessary because owning a business allows for making it to gymnastics by 4:15 or soccer practice by 4:45. And if it doesn’t? Arrangements can be made.

The idea that there has to be clear separation of work and family has gone by the wayside. When work needs attention, work gets attention. When family needs attention, family comes first.

2. Priorities are in line.

Just as the definition of work-life balance has changed for female entrepreneurs, so has the idea that life happens. These ladies won’t bat an eyelash when you can’t speak over the phone until after your kids go to bed because they’ve been there or they are there.

When one of my clients hurriedly got off the phone because her kids came home from school, I was pleasantly surprised. This was a far cry from the “don’t ask don’t tell” culture of: “we won’t ask what you’re doing when you have ‘an appointment’ and we don’t want you to tell us because you’ll be judged.”

In that moment, she put work second because it was time for the kids. Later, she may squeeze in some work or get up early the next morning. It ebbs and flows.

3. Emotions are completely okay.

I don’t know who came up with the idea that emotions aren’t allowed in business, but it’s ridiculous. Expressing healthy feelings within the working world is 100-percent okay and can be a huge asset to the success of a business.

When employees know they are appreciated and cared for, they do better work. Have you ever had a job where your boss treated you like expendable garbage? Your morale was undoubtedly low and you were probably at your professional worst.

Emotions also contribute to empathy and compassion toward clients or customers, which will only improve business. Operating within the parameters of healthy emotions will breed happiness and loyalty among both customers and employees.

4. Business is centered around trust and respect.

Trust and respect are not exclusive to female entrepreneurs since I know men who build their businesses this way and plenty of women who don’t.

In my handful of years as an entrepreneur, though, I’ve found more women than men willing to accept what they don’t know before trusting areas of their businesses to experts.

When it comes to content and social media, for example, I give a lot of credit to those who recognize it isn’t their wheelhouse while respecting my expertise. That allows me to build upon their strengths with mine, taking their businesses up another level.

Take it from me: pure-hearted, female entrepreneurs are without a doubt the best allies to have because they are driven, grounded, and supportive. If you aren’t already in a community to female entrepreneurs find one now!

Two of my favorites are Natalie Eckdahl at BizChix.com and Adria DeCorte at adriadecorte.com.

finding clients

A Dollar Earned in Misery Isn’t Worth It

finding clients

The stress of working with the wrong clients isn’t worth it. Photo: Huffington Post

You want to work with everyone when you’re just starting out, but finding clients who value what you offer is critical to your success.

Still, you want to say yes to everyone. After all, you need the money! Even in this early stage, though, it’s important to weed out clients you have to convince to hire you or who clearly don’t see the value in what you provide.

As a content and social media strategist, my services don’t always deliver a direct monetary return. The majority of my clients are looking to establish trust, brand recognition, and warm up cold audiences.

Many businesses see that as an add-on rather than a necessity. I recognize that I must seek out the first group and avoid the second, even when the latter is well-intentioned.

As an entrepreneur, it’s vital that you to gravitate toward clients who see your services as critical to their businesses.

If you don’t, your business will suffer. Here’s why:

You Will Feel Undervalued

If you are providing a service your client sees as a “bonus,” you will feel like you’re on the outside looking in.

When you jump in to talk strategy, your advice will be (politely) ignored or brushed aside. This is because the client doesn’t really believe what you have to offer is a necessity to his or her bottom line.

While this is directed at what you offer and not at you, you will feel like you aren’t being heard or appreciated for the hard work you’re putting in.

You Will Feel Unproductive

This has happened to me even with the most well-intentioned of clients. If my services are not seen as a priority, emails and text messages go unanswered and projects remain incomplete.

Some of these clients even pay well and on time, but the work associated with them hangs in the balance. These open-ended projects clutter our minds and our planners, delivering a hit to our productivity.

As much as we want these relationships to work, they need to fall by the wayside.

You Will Feel Unfulfilled

As entrepreneurs, we love the work! So when a client doesn’t engage, it’s both frustrating and unfulfilling.

I was talking to a new client just yesterday and dug into the strategy surrounding her content plan. After a minute or so digging into the nuances of different social media platforms, my energy level skyrocketed. I was so pumped to be talking about what I love!

When you work with clients who don’t see eye-to-eye regarding your services, that fire is missing. Projects remain on the ground floor and the back-and-forth that drives and challenges you isn’t there.

It’s a huge buzz kill!

All Dollars Are Not Created Equal

A dollar earned amidst passion and energy is worth far more than a dollar earned in misery.

Learn to detect the warning signs in the early stages of prospecting and then — in the nicest way possible — run like hell when it’s not a good fit.

Trust me, it’s the greatest gift you’ll ever give to yourself and to your business.

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