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 If you’re in the as-yet-unpublished category, you need to start connecting with potential readers now, before you are published.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.
You know the old saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”? Well, sometimes things just change, period. And in the world of social media, whether you use it for marketing or just keeping in touch with friends and family, it’s a whole lot easier if you have a cheat sheet to refer to when it comes to acceptable and recommended social media image sizes.
Ta-da! Thanks to the good folks at SLR Lounge (a photo site my photographer hubby and I like), you now have one.
(NOTE: There is one change to this infographic you should be aware of. Instagram image size used to be 640px by 640px but in July 2015 switched to 1080px by 1080px to keep up with Retina and other high resolution displays available on smartphones, tablets and laptops.)
Google thinks you’re stupid.
If you are a Gmail user, you may have noticed (or will soon notice) that Google thinks you can’t manage your own email.
Google has inexplicably decided to separate your Gmail inbox into separate “tabs,” and THEY will decide what goes into each tab. What this means is (more…)
Most 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…)
One of my favorite quotes about online reputation management is by Tyler Tervooren: “Even if you opt out of participating in the digital world, your online identity still exists in parallel; you’re just not in charge of it.” Basically, it comes down to this: Refusing to acknowledge that people are talking about you does not make that talk go away. And if that talk is negative or inaccurate or untruthful, you have, essentially, decided to allow others to decide who you are and what your brand represents.
Whether due to time constraints, or not knowing enough about how online marketing differs from traditional media, or an inability to keep up with the ever-changing world of online marketing – monitoring online channels is not something the average business professional can reliably do on their own. Many try, only to find sooner rather than later that neither they nor their staff have the time and expertise necessary to develop the Know-Like-Trust factor that leads fans, followers and other online connections to be converted into buyers.
Understanding those challenges is what led me to transform my own business from a general sales and marketing consulting firm to one focused exclusively on branding through social media, online, and email marketing.
Managing Your Online Reputation
There are two equally bad responses to negative online feedback: (more…)
We’re all familiar with the Four P’s of Marketing:
Product. The right product to satisfy the needs of your target customer.
Price. The right product offered at the right price.
Place. The right product offered at the right price available in the right place to be bought by customers.
Promotion. Informing potential customers of the availability of your product, its price, and where they can purchase it.
Each of the Four P’s is a variable that you control in creating the marketing mix that will attract customers to your business.
But marketing in the 21st century requires a Fifth P: