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I have created a new blog category for you called "semi-weekly tips" and it will be just that.
We'll cover topics ranging from self-esteem to email marketing. From best practices in business to practices for maintaining a healthy ego.
They will be 2-minute vignettes. We will release one approximately every 10 days.
They are not meant to be exhaustive or thorough lessons, but rather just a quick hit or some insight, and for some of you, simply reminders of the best of what you may have forgotten, but would love to be reminded of.
These are primarily created with coaches and holistic practitioners in mind, however, if you are in business for yourself, or if you are an independent commission-based employee, you will also be able to benefit from them.
To get you started, the first two are up now:
You are responsible, and therefore at choice:
Single emails do not sell. Email campaigns do:
And if at any point in the future, if you want to see all of the tips in the category, then you can either click on "Semi-Weekly Tips" near the date stamp for the entries, or go to the category listing here:
In Service and In Evolution,
Imagine ... take downs and seizures of web sites by the D.O.J. without judicial review just for linking to something deemed a copyright infringement by ... a corporation that complains to the Justice Department.
What could go wrong?
I am sure you have heard of this by now: SOPA/PIPA and its assault on liberty in a misguided attempt to end piracy. Not only does it trample on the First Amendment, but it also will not work in achieving its desired and stated outcome.
Regardless, I wanted to give you a round-up from those who write about this every day as well as some humor from the web to go along with it.
First from Wired, here is an explanation of the "blackout":
Also, Wired's in depth explanation of why they censored their own web site Wednesday, January 18th, 2012:
And watch the video on that page above.
In that article are also links to the why and the how of this legislation being so darned bad if you are unclear.
To lighten the mood, but to still be serious about this, and Anti-SOPA song set to "American Pie":
From Wired.com ::: SOPA, Internet Regulation, and the Economics of Piracy:
Most importantly …
Don't declare victory yet. It is not enough to put black bars on stuff you post. Write your Congressperson:
And finally, one of the videos that started this all has been rebooted to deliver some very salient points.
Yes, you guessed it, Hitler responds to SOPA:
When you get done laughing, go WRITE CONGRESS and tell them you will vote against them in the next election, regardless of Party, if they support this bill. Which bill? H.R. 3782
One more thing:
If you think this is not a serious matter [or that it will never pass into law], consider that the Supreme Court just ruled that Congress can take works already in the Public Domain and re-copyright them.
Your website could look like this without warning or due process [especially if it is hosted overseas]:
This, combined with SOPA will allow them to take down almost any web site for say, quoting Mark Twain if it gets re-copyrighted:
And from the Electronic Frontier Foundation [E.F.F] is an easier way to take action for you with a great form letter [but make sure you add the "I will not vote for you again if you support this bill" line.
Consider donating money to the E.F.F. as they fight for our rights all the time. They are the ones who sued the government over warantless wire-tapping, as just one example.
In the modern marketplace, if you are in business for yourself or at a high level within a company you work for, it is impossible to avoid social media and its use if you truly want to thrive. That combined with what I believe is an emerging Age of Authenticity ... well, you get the picture.
Just scratching the surface of the broad strokes, it allows you to:
This is why I cover social media in depth in the technology module of the CLC Course.
But recently, I have stumbled onto a few resources I thought some would find useful and valuable, and I wanted to recommend them to you.
The first is a wonderfully in-depth book I read about a year ago: Tactical Transparency: How Leaders Can Leverage Social Media to Maximize Value and Build their Brand. Whether you are a solo-preneur or you are in charge of PR for an enterprise level organization, its content will be very, very useful to you. Chock-full of examples of both the dos and don'ts and great advice for best practices. I recommend you pick it up at Amazon at the link above.
And since social media is all about sharing, here is an incredibly useful article: 9 Reasons Why Your Content Is Not Shared on Social Networks: New Research. Again, very useful stuff backed by a respectable amount of research. Links to follow in that post as well.
And if you are looking for full education around social media for small or solo businesses, I can not recommend Laura Roeder enough. Just a great person who really, really knows her stuff and is on a scale the rest of us can relate to. She gives away a ton of free valuable content if you subscribe to The Dash.
On blogging [and really, email marketing as well] here is a great piece intended for students, but equally as relevant for solo-preneurs in re blogging, articles, and email marketing on how to write great headlines and subject lines, using, one again, using some of Guy Kawasaki's Genius.
And finally for this post, I thought I would round it out with something humorous/light/fun and also very useful. So many people ask [especially now that Google+ is out to a wider invite pool] which social media service they should join, or what is suited for them, or what is the differences among them, or even, "what's the point". So, via the genius of Guy Kawasaki comes the Social Network Decision Tree. Have fun with that.
UPDATE ::: several people have asked me about facebook fan pages. Without intending the pun, I am not a fan of fan pages on facebook. You can read a prime example of why I do not recommend them »HERE«.
And in general, I have a long-held aversion to running anything in re business where I invest a lot of time, energy and/or money when I do not "own" the data and the DB. I have known a couple people who have lost everything in biz groups as a result of a facebook "oops". You do not really own your data, and your ability to administer it is at least limited on facebook [or any other social networking site].
At the same time, the service is free--you get what you pay for--and we have no right to complain about such a great platform that is offered to us at no cost.
Having said that, it does not mean I will build my business on it in any signifigant way.
How I think facebook pages can be useful is to interact with followers on a platform they are already subscribed to, but I still think the pages should be used to drive traffic to our actual web sites outside of the closed eco-system of facebook.
Update 2: in re who reads what [links you share, emails you send out, etc. Again, via Guy Kawasaki ::: "Fascinating study by Bit.ly about the lifespan of tweets and updates. It found that the half-life (how long it took for 50% of all clicks to occur that a link would ever get) was 2.8 hours for Twitter, 3.2 hours for Facebook, and 3.4 hours for direct messages (such as email)."
Check out the research » HERE« And speaking of the stream, readmore about the art of the Tweet repeat » HERE«
Update 3: Also ... be sure to check out How to Avoid the 7 Deadly Website Sins.
Update 4: I have been asked about scheduling tools for social media. The tool I currently recommend is Hootsuite Pro. It allows you to scheudle your entire markeitng day [or your social stuff while you are off the grid] in advance. I used to recommend TweetDeck, but sice twitter bough them and took over development, they stripped it of a lot of its functionality.
Every successful business person is a marketer and a salesperson first. If you want to be successful, you should consider that as your primary organizing principle. If you want to thrive, rather than just survive, then your primary focus needs to be on generating business and leads—and then opening those relationships.
One of the biggest mistakes a small businessperson can make is not being able to track their marketing dollars. That ad you placed—did it get any response or not? How do you know? That yellow page placement-is it increasing your business traffic? How do you know? Are your dollars well placed with the print advertising, TV spots, radio, or other form? How can you know? Did it even pay for itself? The key words you purchased on google or yahoo search—are they effective? Are they garnering traffic?
That person you are paying 10$ an hour to stand on a street corner and pass out fliers—are they even asking any questions, or just silently trying to thrust the paper into people’s hands to get rid of the fliers--bacause, you know, you pay them for how many they pass out, not how many leads you get from it.
What are you paying per lead generated with these methods? How do you track the efficacy of your advertisement and marketing and therefore make informed choices as to whether or not your dollars are well placed?
There are several ways:
The worst example I have recently seen of wasted marketing dollars was for a chiropractic clinic. They had people handing out fliers—but you would never have known what it was for. The flier distributor was standing on a busy financial district street corner—a location where there were probably plenty of prospects who could use an adjustment. However the person hired to hand the fliers out was simply attempting to thrust them into people’s hands. No engagement. No rapport. No questions or offers. No return on invested marketing dollars.
How much were they being paid by the clinic? How much more effective could those marketing dollars have been if they simply asked: “would you like to relieve your stress more effectively?” or some variant, and ONLY hand the fliers to those who said yes. How many people who needed the service walked on by because they simply did not want an unknown piece of pink paper in their hands?
We will never know—and neither will the clinic that hired them. What we do know is that there were plenty of wasted marketing dollars in that marketing endeavor.
Be sure to avoid their mistakes. Stop flushing your marketing dollars down the toilet. Begin now by following the simple steps above to make the most of your marketing dollars.
Another huge mistake people make is marketing to themselves. What would motivate them is often not what would motivate their target market or their ideal clientele. Buut that is another article for another time.