Unblocking Writer’s Block

Writer's BlockMost of us don’t write for a living; that is, we are not published authors who make our money simply by the act of writing. (As a writer myself, I can tell you that the words “simply” and “writing” should never even be used in the same sentence, as it creates an oxymoron.)

But, even professional writers often don’t know much about marketing themselves and their work. In today’s world, social media, blogging, and email marketing are a huge part of promoting products and services, meaning that virtually everyone has a need to write (or hire others to write for them). While writing is not easy for most people, writing compellingly is harder still – and compelling is what it must be, whether you’re writing an article, a blog post, or an eNewsletter.

So, whether you’re doing the actual writing or trying to give direction to an outside consultant, here are my best tips for more easily creating articles and blog posts – and, more importantly, ones people will want to read: (more…)

Social Media is Not a Numbers Game

The Social Media Numbers GameDespite what you may have heard, social media is not a numbers game.

Social media, online and email marketing is not about how many friends, fans, followers, subscribers and connections you have.

It’s not about how many pages you’ve “liked” or how many “like” your page.

It’s not about how many groups you’ve joined on LinkedIn or how many people joined the group you started.

It’s not even about how often you post or tweet or blog or publish your eNewsletter. (more…)

Things That Make Me Go “AARRGGHH!!”

If you are a friend / fan / follower of mine on Facebook or Twitter, you know I’m a Late Night with Jimmy Fallon fan. I think he’s one of the most talented and genuinely nice people in television today. Whether he’s acting, singing, playing guitar, or doing amazing impressions (especially of rock stars), he’s just genuinely funny without ever being mean-spirited or crude.

He’s also a great interviewer because he’s still such a fan himself; he’s somehow managed to avoid becoming jaded by his own success. (I’d better stop now; I sound like a groupie!)

Anyway, one of his signature bits on Late Night – the “Thank You Notes” segment – is exactly what it sounds like – Jimmy writing notes to a mix of news stories that have given his show the most material over the past week, as well as silly jokes about people and objects that he thinks deserve a nod.

Well, I know we’re supposed to be in full-on “thankful” mode, this being the week of Thanksgiving and all, so here are my own tongue-in-cheek thank-yous to some of the businesses I’ve had to deal with in the last couple of weeks that just made me want to go “aarrgghh!!” There are lessons here for all of us. Cue the background music … 🙂 (more…)

Are You Blogging? Or Just “BLAH-ging”?

Charlie Brown's TeacherI posted an entry last week about making your blog the “hub” of your online marketing efforts – and it really seemed to strike a chord with many of my blog and eNewsletter subscribers. But the resounding question remains, “What am I supposed to blog about?”

Remember the sound of Charlie Brown’s teacher in the Peanuts cartoon specials? Yeah. You don’t want to be her.

In order to engage an audience on an ongoing basis (more…)

Seize the Opportunities this Fall

This time last year, I was about three months into my new lifestyle on Mount Desert Island, Maine – something we’d dreamed about and planned for years! That was the “upside.”

ChagrinedThe “downside” (if you can really find a downside to finally living in your vision of paradise!) was that my business revenues were at less than half of where they had been just three years earlier.

This was not primarily due to the move, mind you, but rather to the fact that the industry “basket” into which I had placed all my “eggs” (homebuilding) had been decimated by the economic realities of the day.

And while I had been slowly repositioning my business to serve a more diverse clientele and to focus on social media, online, and email marketing, the months-long process of preparing for and actually making the move did take away from my business-building (or, should I say, rebuilding) activities.

What’s Around the Bend?

After catching my breath by spending much of last Summer as a bit of a tourist in my new hometown, in the Fall I began in earnest to rebuild and re-brand my business.

Fast forward to August 2011, (more…)

Consolidating Multiple Personalities

It must happen to a lot of people, I think … that time in your “social” life (i.e., your online presence) when you ask yourself, “Who am I?” One day you wake up and find that you’ve embraced social media and the world wide web to the point where you’re a member of virtually every “next big thing” online community, having collected online identities and passwords like a CIA agent in deep cover.

And, I don’t mind telling you, it had become something of a logistical nightmare, trying to keep my “business” side segregated from my “personal” side from my “photographer” side from my “street smart observations on life” side. So recently I decided to just let all the facets of my personality and interests mingle again, and you know what? I found that more people responded to my posts and wanted to interact with me! So I came to the conclusion that it was finally time to consolidate at least a couple of my multiple online personalities. 🙂

My decision was helped along by the fact that two of my domain names were expiring later this week as was the hosting on another in early December, so the timing was good. (Sometimes we all need a little extra kick in the pants to do what needs to be done!)

So I decided to go with a more memorable domain consisting of nothing more than my name. I think this new approach will help “tell my story” better than any of my previous incarnations. In addition to bringing clarity to my clients, prospective clients, colleagues and friends, I feel this change already bringing more clarity to my vision for myself and my business for 2011 and beyond, as well.

I look forward to sharing more of myself with you here – not only online and social media marketing insights and strategies, but also other interesting, entertaining and fun stuff, too.

So … please bookmark this page because by the end of this week the website BeaconPointAssociates.com will be offline permanently. This new site incorporates both BeaconPointAssociates.com and my blog, ChartYourCourse.net. I’ll continue to have a personal profile and a business page on Facebook; still deciding what to do about my multiple Twitter accounts, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to combine the website and the blog – can’t have my business colleagues searching and unable to find me!

You can use this email address to reach me.