What Kind of Content Should You Create?

What Kind of Content Should You Create?

The holidays are long behind us. What’s more, Punxsutawney Phil let it be known today that it’s going to be a short winter. Spring is on its way. Looks like we’re all out of excuses for failing to create valuable content. We’d better get on that. But …

What Kind of Content Should You Create?

Your focus depends on whether you are a B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer) concern. Fellow writers, we are solidly B2C (unless you’re writing business books). Common to both, however, is this: Writing is a business. And if you want to connect with your intended audience, you should be creating content on a regular basis and connecting with that audience in every way possible.

One part of your audience includes other writers, agents, editors, and those in various aspects of the publishing industry (it’s about the networking, people!). The other part is readers in your genre. If you’re already published — whether traditionally, indie, or self-published — you likely have some readers, and Lord knows you want more of them. If you’re in the as-yet-unpublished category, you need to start connecting with potential readers now, before you are published.

The infographic below is a terrific guideline for deciding which tactics you should be using. Whatever you do, don’t — let me repeat, do not — jump in and attempt every single one right off the bat. Pick one and learn everything you can about it. Get good at it. Become consistent with it. My recommendation is to start with a WordPress blog. There are a couple of good reasons for this:

Your WordPress blog is both a website and a blog, all in one place.

You never want your blog readers to have to wander away from the cozy confines of your delightful blog out into the cold, dark interwebz to visit your website. You don’t send the most important person in your (writing) life out to cruise the dive bars of cyberspace! They could get lost and never find their way back to you. Avoid this tragedy. Feather a comfy little nest for them to visit, have a cup of tea or a cocktail, enjoy your writing and learn more about you.

You own and control your blog and everything on it.

Your blog is the hub of your online presence. You create a blog post and — voila! — you now also have a Facebook post, a tweet, a Google+ post, a LinkedIn post, and numerous others through the miracle of cross-posting. Oh, that’s right, you’re not on those platforms yet … because I told you not to jump into the deep end before you knew how to swim. Good, I’m glad you were listening. But here’s the thing: When you do get going on those platforms, you’re going to be able to take those blog posts and cross-post them to your other places on the web … so that even if Facebook blows up your page, or LinkedIn becomes unlinked from our universe, or some other cosmic calamity causes your social media account to be lost forever, you’ve still got your blog.

Words to remember: Your blog is forever. Make it the home of everything important that you create for the web.

Start with your blog and build your online presence piece by piece.

Chances are, you’re one of the one-billion-plus people who have a Facebook profile This is a nice way to stay in touch with your old school chums and those relatives you’d rather not see beyond weddings and holidays. But for your business? You’re going to want to have a Facebook page. That differs from a Facebook profile in several significant ways, which we will go into in a future blog post.

Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and all the rest? Each has its own merits. Yup, sounds like another blog post coming on.

To make sure you don’t miss these and other posts that can help you be a better self-marketer, be sure to subscribe to receive notifications of future blog posts by using the box at the top of the right-hand column.

INFOGRAPHIC - What Content Types Should You Create

Building Your Network – and Your List – with LinkedIn

LinkedIn-LogoMost business people I know are aware of LinkedIn. They know it’s a business networking platform within the larger catch-all known as “social media.” Many know LinkedIn is not only a great place to connect (or reconnect) with other professionals in their field, but also to engage with past, current and prospective clients and even find potential new hires.

It’s also a great place to form or join groups of like-minded individuals who can become or refer clients. And a lot of worthwhile information is posted there that can prove helpful in your everyday work life.

And since LinkedIn is 277% more effective than other social networks in generating leads, you’d be crazy not to be making the most of it, right?

What too many don’t seem to understand, however, is the best way to make meaningful and mutually beneficial connections with people on LinkedIn. I have observed the following (in my opinion) misguided ways in which people seek to connect on LinkedIn:

  • Sending invitations out of the blue to people they don’t know, using the pre-packaged invitation copy provided by LinkedIn (“I’d like to add you to my network.” Really? Why? Who are you? How do we know one another, or whom / what do we have in common?)
  • Indiscriminately joining every group that has a word within its name relating to their business (for instance, “marketing,” “law,” “construction,” “restaurant,” etc) and then failing to interact, interacting too infrequently, or contributing only negative or “know-it-all” type comments within the groups they’ve joined.
  • Endorsing others’ skills and expertise when they don’t have sufficient knowledge to do so.

Here are my best tips for making the most of LinkedIn’s unique opportunities: (more…)

An Attitude of Gratitude

Wow! Since my last blog post on Thursday, I have been so humbled by the number of people who have chosen to share their own stories of stepping into their full potential by starting a business! (I’ll be sharing these inspiring stories in the days and weeks to come, so stay tuned…)

Many of you have also participated in my online survey, the responses to which are helping me to design and develop entrepreneurial training and masterminding that is relevant, meaningful and uplifting, and for this I say THANK YOU! Thank you for making my task easier 🙂 but more so for playing a valuable role in helping aspiring, new and even established entrepreneurs on the journey that is business ownership. It’s going to be so much more fun taking that journey together, by virtue of the programs I’m developing with your help!

(more…)

12 Things You Can Count on in 2012

  1. 12 Things You Can Count on in 2012Social media is not going away
  2. Inbound marketing will continue growing, as the marketing strategy that engages rather than interrupts the prospect
  3. There will be more social media platforms coming online, and no one knows which will take off and which will fizzle
  4. Ignore online networking at your peril
  5. The watchword in social media – as in all online marketing – will be “make it personal”
  6. Auto-tweeting and autoresponders and “auto-anything” are going to have to evolve in order to engage
  7. Having an online marketing strategy is more important than simply executing tactics
  8. Getting clear on your target audience is the very first step to online success
  9. Marketing, in and of itself, is not the objective; it is the means to an end
  10. Having a step-by-step program in place for effectively reaching and resonating with your ideal customer or client is Job 1
  11. Not only can you blog, you MUST blog
  12. Marketing your business requires time, effort and money; only the proportions are in question. If you want to spend less money, be prepared to spend more of your time and effort on marketing. If you want to devote less time and effort to marketing (and concentrate on serving your customers and clients), you will need to invest more money in your marketing efforts.

The “Hub” of Your Online Marketing

Social Media PuzzleOnline marketing can be very confusing, if not overwhelming.

It’s a big contraption with lots of moving parts.

Even if you’re already involved in some fashion – posting to a Facebook Business page or tweeting out your company’s latest news or even just checking in to LinkedIn a couple of times a week – there’s a pretty good chance your thoughts sometimes drift off in the direction of …

I don’t really have the time to do this as well as I’d like. There’s got to be a better way – without spending half my week on it!

So, how do you make the online portion of your marketing program easier to implement and succeed at? (more…)

Beyond Status Updates: Forging Relationships on Facebook

If you’ve ever taken Facebook for a spin, you know the premise is pretty simple.

At the top of the screen there’s a question – “What’s on your mind?” – and you type something into the box. On personal profiles, these posts are most often the mundane details of people’s lives: what they are doing, where they are going, links to their favorite music videos or photos and even random posts that seem to be “inside jokes” that a limited number of readers will understand. There are snippets of song lyrics, inspirational quotes, political rants, snarky comments and the infamous game-playing (Farmville, anyone?). This is where a lot of people’s understanding of Facebook starts and ends, so as a social media strategist, the question I find myself answering most often is, “Why should my business be on Facebook?” (more…)