No matter what type of business you have, there are clients for that business. It may seem hard to reach them but once you’ve got a clear plan and understanding of what YOU bring to the market? Getting leads is the easy part. Finding clients who mesh with your values? That’s where things get a little sticky.
As someone who can bring in 61% more leads in a month from Facebook Ads alone and increase engagement across the board over 100% individually on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I have a responsibility.
A friend of mine is referring me to one of his clients. We talked about it and he said that they’re laying the foundations to be able to handle the volume I would bring in.
While that felt a little uncomfortable to own, the Warrior inside of me was jumping for joy.
I have spent a decade watching, learning and growing. I’ve focused on getting a true understanding of what makes people click (both digitally and in real life) and how to grow a brand from the ground up.
All Wonder Women metaphors aside, using the tactics, strategies and skills I have can create massive results and this is something I really am passionate about. To me, having this type of “power” comes with responsibility.
I don’t have to like you to work with you… but it does help
I believe anyone with a platform has a responsibility to use that platform to share good content — vetted content, accurate content, TRUE content. Retweeting or resharing bad content or unverified content can have serious consequences — there’s an entire website devoted to debunking the Web (Snopes.com) and I definitely aim to be part of the solution, both as an individual content creator and as someone who creates content for others.
Do I have to like you as a human being to take you on as a client? Hell, no.
Do I have to agree with your politics, your life philosophy, and brand identity to take you on as a client? Hell, no.
But do I want to make sure that your brand is spreading positivity instead of negativity? Hell, yes.
I don’t take this lightly and YOU shouldn’t either.
Affiliate Marketing and Influencer Marketing is where this really comes into play because if you’re putting your name behind something and sharing it with your carefully curated audience, you want to make sure it supports them, right?
That’s where my favorite NYC saying “everybody’s money is green” comes into play.
You can work with anyone, but do they deserve your unique skill set?
I’m not talking about “deserve” in a sense of passing judgment on how “worthy” a project or budget is. I’m talking about connecting to who you are as a person, what YOUR goals are and deciding if connecting your brand, business and name to this project is going to be worth the long term results that will have for your business and theirs.
Your name is all you have, guard it with your life
As a journalist, I learned that my name was to be protected because that’s ALL people would know me as. As a journalist “bred” in the age of digital media, I learned to protect my handles too.
As a businesswoman, my word is platinum and I will never, ever, ever forget that. And I don’t want YOU to forget that either.
No matter what you’re selling, your name, brand and business will forever be tied to it, especially if you use the internet as a vehicle to gain exposure for the venture (and if you’re not doing that in even a small way, you won’t succeed).
Moral of the story: Everybody’s money is green but only some people will be the right fit for YOU as clients. Respect that, honor that and tell the Universe you’re ready for more of that alignment.
Magic WILL happen and you’ve earned it.
Content should not be free. Unfortunately, the rise of digital properties led to the cannibalization of content. While this buzzwordy phrase is currently making the rounds on social, we’re losing valuable opportunities to create content that truly matters and that is why, if you’re using content, you have to find a way to pay the writer in one way or another.
I am a Huff Post contributor but don’t agree with their model. Why? Because not everyone knows how to maximize the exposure they get from contributing this content. Not everyone knows to syndicate their blog posts to Huff Post for traffic, social brand awareness and more. (Well, if you’re reading this, now YOU do).
And that, my dear readers, is BS.
Content makes brands, entrepreneurs and influencers MILLIONS, if not Billions, of dollars every year. Many creators — that is people who write, post and MAKE images, videos, photos and more — never see a dime of that OR even see any social currency and follower growth.
There is a better way
I understand the business logistics of paying every single creator for every piece of content. I understand that it is not a model for every business, HOWEVER, there are ways to pay your writers without actually exchanging any cash.
Social Media Currency is real and very few are taking advantage of it.
If YOU want to use free content, here are a few things you can do to contribute to the solution rather than continue the plague.
Giving link love back on social media is a tag or mention, on a website, it’s about linking to their website and articles. It’s about using SOME of your digital klout to mention others and help them increase THEIR influence. An easy way for all brands to do this is to give every contributor at least 1 tag per platform per mention. It could be over the span of 12 months, hell, it could be over the span of 5 years. As long as credit is given, it helps decrease the use of free content
Linking back and link love is great but you can also simple RESHARE a post, giving the author/creator proper attribution from the start. This is very important for videos on social. As videos and vemes become more popular, it is important to share a mention of where you found it and to actually site the creator, not just the source.
If you’re including my contributor article in a newsletter that will net you a profit, some of that profit should be distributed to the writers. This is something that many brands have not started to get into but do need to consider as influencer marketing and content marketing continues to grow.
If you’re ready to use your audience and influence to build your business and your bank account without taking advantage of the creators, let’s talk and figure out ways to syndicate the best creators for YOUR brand objectives.
An expert is someone who lives, breathes, eats and sleeps the work they do. That’s not to say that they don’t have many interests or areas of expertise, but to identify someone as a true expert — especially in the social media marketing space — can be a challenge. This guide is meant to help you get a sense of whether or not this “expert” really knows their stuff so you can get back to the work of building your brand, business and bank account.
Why Should You Care What I Have to Say?
Well, quite frankly because I AM an expert. A quick scan of my bio and LinkedIn profile will show you that I’ve worked at some pretty impressive places and done some pretty incredible things.
But does that really mean I’m an expert?
In my opinion, it does not. Just because you worked somewhere doesn’t mean that you actually did the work and just because you can write a great post or two doesn’t mean you actually did the writing.
Sooooo… What the Hell?
I know it seems more complicated but it’s actually better to assume everyone you encounter is NOT the expert they say they are.
Confusing, perhaps, but if you are skeptical upon your first interaction with someone and their brand/content, you won’t become a disciple of theirs.
How Can I Get the Information I Need?
You do, it is true, need experts to help you flourish in the zones of genius that you do not excel. This is a valid and true statement. But finding those people can be difficult… if you assume everyone knows what they’re talking about.
The first thing to remember is that social media marketing is in its infancy. Facebook hasn’t even had business pages FOR A FULL DECADE!!! Let that sink it for a moment. The method of doing business for so many of you reading this, wasn’t even something to USE a few short years ago.
That means that every, single expert in social still has tons to learn (myself included).
Identifying an expert is easy if you know what to look for and these three steps can help you find an expert in any zone of genius, not just someone who excels at social media marketing.
Consistency in Results
When someone says they’re an expert, ask them for examples of their work and their successes to date. These case studies should be varied and show success based on the resources available for the project. And, the expert should be willing to explain how each success was achieved. That is consistency in results.
When you ask someone for their advice on Facebook ads, they should not give you a generic statistic. They should be able to tell you what they have been able to achieve for other clients and how those results varied from client to client as well as share insights on the “average” across all types of Facebook posts.
Basically, if they’re offering a one-size-fits-all model, run the other way.
When you see a Facebook post or Instagram Story from an expert, ask them questions that go beyond the topics covered. Someone who really knows their stuff will be able to offer clear answers AND ask clear questions to get to the heart of what you’re really looking for and give you some solid advice. Even if they won’t give you strategic advice (because no one should give that away for free), they should be able to tell you some stats from past clients and give you some food for thought when it comes to what YOUR next move should be.
All in all, a true expert is someone who not only knows the right answer but knows HOW to get you from the question you’re asking to the answers you need to have. A true expert is a guide, someone who helps you navigate their zone of genius with ease and strategy; someone who helps YOU build your business without draining your bank account.
Connecting with Entrepreneurs is an interesting experience. Everyone has a different way to run their business and each way can be successful on its own, but is it sustainable? Curating the right resources for your project and scale is the best way to create a business that can stand the test of time AND build your bank account at the same time.
A few weeks ago, I had a very interesting meeting. In the meeting, the prospective client made the comment that they wouldn’t pay someone to do video because an intern could just do video for free.
And that, my friends, is effing bullshit.
Interns are brilliant. I was managing This Old House’s Facebook groups and content syndication as an intern. Interns are very, very capable BUT they are NOT the same as hiring someone with 2, 5, 7 or 10 years of experience.
My response in the meeting? You could, but I can tell you right now it won’t be the same quality. I can tell you that because as an intern, I created good content. And now, a decade later? I create great content.
And a decade from now? It will be even better.
We are constantly evolving… we should be getting better and better at what we do, at the services we sell, at the content create (we all create content… seriously, but that’s a post for another day).
If we didn’t, what the hell is the point of all of this?
How Do You Build the Right Team?
By actually acknowledging that the investment is needed to scale. Investment IS needed to build your business. Investment in time or money. If you don’t want to spend the money, you need to take the time to learn the skills.
Know What You Don’t Know
I taught myself to code because I wanted to be a Digital Producer. I upped my abilities in video production too. At the same time, I applied for a Digital Production Masters… and four short months later, I got the job as a Digital Producer without the Masters.
Know what you don’t know and tell the Universe you’re ready to receive opportunities in this zone of genius.
By opening yourself up to LEARNING, you open new doors to your business and future. You don’t have to be GREAT at everything, but you SHOULD know what you don’t know. You need to understand the things you’re outsourcing before you outsource them. You can, of course, ask the expert, but you should also have a general understanding so that you can make decisions for yourself.
Know What an Expert Looks Like
I love when I see people on Instagram who offer to manage Instagram accounts for $100 a month. That’s not a reasonable price for anyone, even an intern. Minimum wage is $15 an hour — you cannot effectively do EVERYTHING for an Instagram account in 6.66666 hours per month. You can’t even do it in 7.
An expert knows how to explain their services, understands the actual time it takes, and is upfront with the realistic expectations you can have for a campaign. They are also honest with you when it comes to scope — if they can do it for less, they will.
Know What You Need to Invest in Most
If you’re trying to create an online business and don’t have a website (or even just a landing page), that’s the first area to invest in. It does not have to be something fancy (in fact, our most expensive website package is $6500) and it does not have to be something you do in 24-hours but it should be something that allows you to build your business AND scale. This is where a strategy session would be the best investment you can make.
If you’re going to go it your own way, find the right resources and find several of them. Form your own conclusions about what you NEED to do, instead of allowing others to “should” you. You “should” do a lot of things but you NEED to do few things to be successful online; know the difference.
Overall, building a business that scales involves finding the right experts to do the job you need OR becoming proficient enough in the services you need to create them for yourself. It takes time, effort and energy but the investment is well worth it.
PS: Did you know I launched a Podcast? The Get is designed to give you the interviews, inspiration, connections and advice you need to get the life you want. Click here to Get Informed, Get Connected, Get Hired and Get Inspired by subscribing on iTunes.
Facebook offers different types of organic content and you should be experimenting with at least these 3 in order to Guess, Test and Review what makes your audience convert and engage.
Facebook is the best way to reach an engaged audience (1.86 BILLION active monthly users) that is primed to convert. According to a Fortune magazine, 51% of people make purchases online and if you’re not marketing to them on Facebook, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
If you’re not ready to pay for Facebook ads to increase your reach (which is definitely something you should consider in 2017), you need to vary your organic content to continue to be seen as a good publisher by Facebook.
These are your standard Facebook posts. They pull in the image or images from your blog article or website page and also pull in the title and description you set on the backend. The best part about these posts is that, if you’re sharing to a business page, you CAN edit the title, description and image. Why would you do this? To recycle content without making it so obvious. This is a great way to also encourage clicks because once your audience clicks on the image, it takes them right to your website. Great for traffic and great for engagement.
Link with a Photo
It is important to vary the types of posts you’re doing on Facebook to increase your reach and engagement and a link with a photo is a great way to do that. This can be one or more photos and all should be related to the blog post or topic of what you’re sharing. You don’t have to include the same photos from the page or blog, but they should be relevant so your audience isn’t confused when they reach the page by clicking on the link. This is a great place for quotes as well, because the images will be large in people’s newsfeeds on every device.
Plain Text Posts
Plain text posts were popular for a bit when Facebook decided to push for more realistic and authentic content from all users. Many of you have probably seen the colored-backgrounds (only available for Facebook profiles, not brand pages at the moment!!) which are plain text posts with a little flair. These are good for businesses trying to ask users questions and increase engagement. It can also be helpful when you’re trying to decide what types of blogs to write or what users to feature.
Overall, varying your Facebook content is the best way to reach Facebook’s 1.86 billion monthly active users to increase your engagement and ultimately, the amount of cash in your bank account.
Until brands truly understand and appreciate what makes your audience convert, the effectiveness of your digital influence will be measure on likes, comments and followers. Many social media influencers are feeling the pressure of this and, in response, they buy likes, followers and (attempt) autogeneration of engagement. This is a bad practice and something you shouldn’t do as you build your brand. Engagement is important and here are three ways to increase it without using these hacks.
Social Media Influencers are feeling the pressure.
Brands, Ad Execs and, basically, all of “the olds” see the success and reach of a digital brand’s influence in likes, followers and engagement.
That IS a true measure, however, it is important to also understand the makeup of an individual influencers’ audience before you make a blanket statement about what will — or what won’t — convert.
Microinfluencers are more important than ever — anyone with 10k-50K followers often has an audience that is made up of individuals with the same buying power and brand preferences. Those with 50K+ followers? Those are often the aspirational brands and you can’t always get a true sense of WHY their followers are engaging.
An engaged audience is different from an engaged audience that converts — think about Kim Kardashian. She has built a digital empire on training her audience to like, and, more importantly, BUY the things she showcases on her social media brands. She did it by associating herself with brands that work, by building a level of trust with her audience and by continuing to deliver.
It is very easy to lose this trust (cough, Kendall and Pepsi, cough) and requires not only engaging content but an awareness of the things that matter to your audience.
And if you’re buying followers and engagement, there’s a good chance that your audience is made up of bots or fake, disengaged accounts.
So what can you do? You need to grow your numbers and comments but you can’t automate or buy them. Many of you probably don’t have the time to spend hours on your Instagram so here are some easy strategies to test on your brand this week. Guess, Test and Review— that’s THE best way to determine what strategies, tactics and content works for YOUR audience to give you the results in your brand influence AND your bank account.
It’s important to show that you can find good sources in YOUR content buckets to collaborate with and to curate on your brand. You are a content curator 95% of the time and an original content creator 5% of the time. Many influencer campaigns are built on the collaboration of micro-influencers, influencers, celebs and brands working to amplify the content at the same time. If you can’t collaborate, you can’t be a true influencer.
Product reviews are a great way to demonstrate brand conversion. Create a short link for your post reviewing a product (using bit.ly or others!), share it on your social media profiles and track it! Create images that highlight the brand or product in an engaging way and review how your audience responses. Once you get a sense of what types of products your audience is interested in, you can create a brand kit to showcase these results and pitch yourself to brands.
Your Zone of Genius
Taking the time to find your voice online, or your specific zone of genius, can be challenging BUT staying in your lane (or lanes; there can be many content buckets for your brand!) will increase your influence. Consistency is KEY to increasing engagement and followers on social media so this is one of the most important things you can do to see a return quickly.
Another way to increase your influence? Find a community of like-minded individuals to connect with! (Like my FREE Facebook Group, DIY Your Digital Empire) By doing this, you can not only share best practices, but you can also get a sense of what’s working for others who may share a content theme or two of yours (or be completely out of your content comfort zone!). There’s no reason to (completely) reinvent the wheel — the best thing you can do is find a strategy or tactic that works and put your own unique spin on it for your audience.