What if…Your Social Media Hit a Ball OUT of the Park

Social media…here to stay? All the indicators say “Yes.” It may change form as it is now, moving from desktop computer to laptop to mobile, and brand names may change. What won’t change, however, is the need to communicate effectively.

Are you…like everyone else…no…make that a select few…really choosing to solidly connect with your prospects or clients?  Are you someone who wants to provide over the top products or service and build a relationship that lasts?

Let’s assume you already know your services or products are exceptional…but you don’t know how to connect with people who could truly benefit.  You have a website, but it’s not drawing in the people you want.  Think seriously about social media.  Sure, you can tweak your website, and that may be something you need to take a look at.  Especially if you’re an on-line business, your website is your brand.    But places like Facebook, Twitter, and other similar places where people come to socialize,  and where participation in the conversation is easily two-sided,  is a very cost-efficient way to get others to help you spread your brand.  This draws people to your website, and your business.

There are a few caveats, however.  A lot of businesses of all sizes are beginning to realize the importance of social media.  Many of them, though, fail to grasp that social media is not about “advertising.”  It’s about connecting.  Make it easy, conversational…fun.   Putting out constant tweets that say only “Come visit me at my website, or my store” isn’t enough.  People like being part of a community.  They like being able to contribute to the community in some way.   Social media can be powerful, both with its benefit and its backlash.  Your community members can help you build your brand; they can provide positive feedback as well as negative feedback.  When your social media is a business marketing strategy…what you do will be echoed in what the members say…good or bad.

So…what kinds of social media communication connect?  What characteristics attract the audience you seek?  Well, what about:

  • kindness…no hard sell, no attitude, just a dose of good old-fashioned kindness.  Something like “Because I have walked a mile in your shoes, I can truly empathize. And I’d like to walk the next mile with you. “
  • honesty…say it like it is.  Good news or bad news, no hype.  No matter how many changes have occurred in the world, or maybe cause of the changes that have occurred, a straight-forward, no holds barred approach is appreciated and honored.
  • humor…laughter is good for the heart, soul, mind and body.  Laugh at yourself, laugh with others, laugh at human foibles (without demeaning human nature) and let your social media convey your joy of what you do.
  • gratitude…there is so much to be grateful for.  Don’t pass the buck, don’t play the blame game.  Be grateful for everything…the good and the bad…and the lessons they bring.  Most especially, be grateful for what your audience brings to you…the opportunity to bring them a better life.

Right about now you may be thinking that’s just plain common sense.  And…yes, it is.  However, these common courtesies, and connections, have become all too uncommon.

You have the opportunity to hit that home run you always dreamed about; to build connections that last for life. When your  social media messages carry your brand and build your community, you can connect you with real people looking for real businesses…run by people with a passion to serve.

Megawatt Words That Attract Within Minutes

What are the things that magnetize you to the television set?  Is it the horrific sight of bloodshed or the volcano that’s set to erupt at any moment, and you are mesmerized by the bubbling lava whose slightest change in hue is broadcast constantly?  Or…perhaps it’s the overnight sensation on YouTube, like UConn football player John McEntee dunking the football in the basketball hoop from mid-court,  or knocking the bottle off the top of his friend’s head  that catches and holds your attention.

The question is “What attracted you?”  What originally pulled your attention to the television or the video?  Well, it was probably megawatt words.   A word or words that evoked an emotion.  Maybe a friend told you about the YouTube video…and said “You should watch this, Dude” with such admiration that you were immediately sucked in.  Or a word you heard that triggered a memory of something that happened to you, or someone you knew, in the past.

Words trigger emotions.  Emotions trigger a response.  But…not all words.  Words that are ordinary, mundane, or speak to our moment-to-moment existence, do little to feed an emotional response.  For example, “The sky is blue” is unlikely to evoke the same response as “Wow, I’ve never seen the sky with so many different shades of blue…look…the blue near that dark storm cloud in the western sky is almost purple, while the sky further to the east near that snow-covered mountain top with the sunshine hitting it, is the most brilliant blue I’ve ever seen.”

Words that are extraordinary, and tell a story that capture the imagination, or the subconscious mind, feed the primal layers of emotional response, whether that response be fear or joy, with the full range of how visceral that response is.

So…how can you create megawatt words?  Where do they come from?  I have a few suggestions for you to consider. Continue reading

How to Develop an Interactive Social Media Community

There are many in the business world that believe the only reason to have an internet, online presence, with the use of social media, is because there are statistics that say it can increase a company’s return on investment (ROI).

No doubt, it can.  Have you heard the term “business transparency?”  If you haven’t, you either will soon, or should.  What it means is that, as a business, you want to be seen as open, honest, and responsible.  Increasingly, customers and stockholders expect it.  Just as they expect a very visible, on-line presence. Continue reading

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Social Media Goals for 2011

Like most entrepreneurs, I am self-motivated…most of the time.  I also suffer the bane of most entrepreneurs, I know that I can be lazy if I want to…no “9 to 5” rules to restrict my activities.  To make sure I stay engaged, I think it’s important I  renew my “Resolve to Succeed” goal every year.

For the many years I spent in Corporate America, there were new goals at the beginning of each year…rules to live by…a measuring stick.  Measure up…or measure out.  Exceed and succeed.  And I loved the challenge of it.

Now that I have my own corporation, however, I want  goals that are a little more fun-based.  Goals that incorporate “measure up or measure out”, as well as “exceed and succeed,” but with a different slant. Goals that use the “SMART” system…Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound…as well as…well… fun.  I want goals that challenge, engage, and create in me the mental attitude of success, and goals that make me smile because others succeeded with me and shared the success. Continue reading

I don’t Believe in Santa Claus

There is an urban legend that has been cited as the work of various radio and television personalities, including Andy Rooney and Paul Harvey. It has been floating around in e-mail and posted in numerous blogs for the last few years.   Snopes has determined it to be compilation of various authors, not including either Andy or Paul. Regardless of who the actual author is, I want to include this urban legend in my blog today as a reminder that as an American, Christmas has a very significant meaning for many. It is both my right and privilege to respect and honor the meaning and tradition of Christmas as the birth of Christ, and for all of us to give thanks for all that we have been given, and in turn, to share our gifts, whether large or small, with one another in the spirit of Oneness.

My husband and I have different spiritual beliefs.  While strong in our own separate beliefs, we are one in our respect for our privileges, and in our ability to honor the other, not despite of, but because of our differences.  In the United States, we have the freedom to worship…or not… as we choose.   We have that right not because of what we did to earn it, but because of what others died to create and protect for us. I am grateful for that freedom and, including all of its blemishes, for this great country in which I live.

I hope you will read, enjoy, and contemplate not only the words of this urban legend, but the intent with which it is offered in this Season of Hope and Joy: Continue reading

The Cat’s Secrets of Successful Marketing

For anyone who has  a cat…I know that you know…that they know…exactly how to get your attention, and keep your attention until you have served whatever need they may have in the moment.

As a cat staffer…I would never say cat owner, because one of the first things cats communicate is that no one owns them…I have observed my cats carefully to discern their secrets of getting you to do exactly what they want.  Those observations have lead me to propose cats are excellent marketing masters…and are happy to train anyone willing to pay attention…how to discover “what the prospective client wants.” Continue reading

Three Ways to Increase Your Success

Wherever we’re at in life,  we all wish to succeed…at something.  At the core of our being, that’s why the majority of us believe we are here.  Whether love, money or power is your goal, if you read success books about people who have accomplished what they’ve set out to do,  you’ll find three traits shared by all:

  1. Successful people see what they will give.  They  can envision what their product or service will do for the person who will use it.  They “see”  how it will be distinct…and of greater benefit than anything else available.  They create a vision of the one…or of the thousands…or millions…of satisfied receivers.
  2. They create a plan.   Successful dreams require a road map, with places to visit (to-do lists) and checkpoints.  From A to Z, they create the steps needed to keep going while ALWAYS keeping their eye on the destination.
  3. They take action.  More than a dream…there is action.  Successful people take action every day.  Even if it’s just thinking about what they want to happen and ways to move around potential barriers, there’s always action.  Sometimes these actions work out, and sometimes they don’t, but the successful person keeps striving…taking another action step.

Sounds pretty simple, right?  And…common sense.  So why do we make it so hard?

My theory…and it’s only that…a theory…is that most of us are either hard-wired or programmed (or both) for near-sightedness.  We see ourselves in the middle of a forest, and get caught up in seeing only to the edge of the clearing we’re standing in.  We create products or services that never leave the clearing…things that capture neither the imagination nor the heart of those who could benefit from what we might truly be able to provide.    We fail to see that in the forest all around the clearing there is potential for products and services just waiting for our imagination to find a way to make something useful for ourselves and many others.  Or sometimes we just fail to find a way to help the receiver “see it” from where they are standing.

I like to think that I’m a pretty successful business person…writer, speaker, e-mail and social media marketer. I make a comfortable living and my clients like my work.  Of course, it hasn’t always been that way. When I look at the mistakes I’ve made along the way (and who hasn’t?),  most of my failures came from not focusing on these three traits.

Some people pay thousands of dollars to a “success guru” for consultations and classes who…if you boiled all of their advice down…focused your attention on these same three things.  They may have given you dozens of charts, or maybe CD’s and DVD’s, and workbooks, and perhaps told you some things to put on your “to do” list, but if you think about it…didn’t they really just expand on “see the end, create a plan, take action?”

I’m not saying their advice wasn’t worth whatever you paid. These three traits are important.  If their advice helped you focus, plan and implement a success story, it was clearly worth every penny.   There are a couple of quotes I’ve heard numerous times throughout my career…as have many of you I’m sure.  One of them is “Those who can’t do…teach.”  Another one, one that I much prefer, is “Those who teach…learn.”   Successful coaches aren’t just great do’ers, they’re great teachers.  And the great teachers will help you find a way to apply these three traits specifically to your goals, whatever they may be.  So don’t be afraid to spend the “big bucks” if you find someone that really helps you develop your passion along this path.

If you can’t afford the gurus, however, or…you’re pretty confident you can make it on your own with this simple template…”GO FOR IT!!!”

I’ve had many lessons from the experts…I’ve also been the facilitator for many “how to be an expert” classes. I’ve been the passionate entrepreneur trying new paths without a solid framework.    I’ve had both success…and failure.   What I’ve learned…and want to share with you…is that success comes from thinking about…and applying… three traits…to whatever you’re doing.

So…today…give yourself the gift of three traits…create success the simple way.

 

Offer the Best…Because Your Prospects are Worth It

Whether you’re marketing hair care products, clothing, perfume, housecleaning, remodeling services, or marketing services, the person you are speaking with…your prospect…wants to be convinced that whatever you’re offering is the best…because they’re worth it!

As a marketer, on line or off-line, your ability to persuade someone to do something they already want to do is the difference between getting the sale…or not.  It is the ability to convince your prospect that they are a star…that there’s a performance going on…in this moment… in which they have a huge role…along with an obligation to act…in their own best interest.

The best marketing teachers…Clayton Makepeace, Armand Morin, David Garfinkel, Ray Edwards, Robert Bly…all talk about it.  In his new book Writing Riches, Ray Edwards calls it “aspirational language” or words that evoke the image of the end result of what the prospect wants…what he or she aspires to. Robert Bly, in The Online Copywriter’s Handbook, advises the use of laser-like focus…to “practice the art of selectivity.”  Clear, concise and compelling language  that will…capture attention, gain interest, create a desire, and invoke actionAIDA…the acronym you’ve heard trumpeted by marketers forever.

So…why do some marketing efforts, even using AIDA,  succeed while others fail?  Perhaps it’s the story.  What about your efforts? Continue reading

Three Social Media Success Measurements

Social media…is it in your arsenal of marketing weapons?  If not…it’s certainly time to add it.

Why?  Not because it’s the “in” thing to do, but because it can allow you to reach your target audience faster and more effectively.  Social networking, via social media,  is the way people globally are communicating in the 21st century.  You join a social networking website and you can start finding like-minded people in a particular area or niche.   While the original concept was simply to develop personal social connections, businesses…especially online businesses…quickly saw the opportunity to share business information.     Putting out sound bites on sites like Twitter, Facebook, My Space, businesses have the opportunity to reach a large and diverse global audience at very little cost. Continue reading