Random Planned Acts Of Kindness

According to Wikipedia, a random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people.  This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to be deliberate and plan out random acts of kindness to people who follow you on social networks.

Your followers are people just like yourself who enjoy hearing from a real person.  There is a reason that they are reading the content you write.  You are providing something that adds value for them.  Think about how affirming it is when someone you admire acknowledges you.  Here are some ways that you can show appreciation to your followers.

1.  Thank them publicly by name. – It can take a long time, but I still recommend thanking everyone who shares your content.  By thanking them in the comments or a retweet, you’ll find that many times you’ll be able to start a valuable conversation.

2.  Follow them back. – On some networks it is just common courtesy to follow them back.  If someone is consistently interacting with your posts, following them back can show them your appreciation.

3.  Add them to a “special” list, then share the list.  John Paul Aguiar has a great list called 250 Follow Friday Favorite People.  This is a great way to honor your followers and show them that they are important to you.

4.  Give them exclusive deals. –  If you have products you sell, a coupon code or a discount that is exclusive to your followers is a great way to say thank you.

5.  Share reader accomplishments. – If a follower launches a new book, gets their article published, or has some other significant accomplishment, mention them.  It may […]

Everlasting Green Gobstopper of Google Plus

Do you remember the Everlasting Gobstopper?  Not the ones currently in the candy store, but the ones in the book, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the 1971 film of the same name.  If not, let me refresh your memory.  According to Wikipedia, “The fictional Everlasting Gobstopper is a candy that not only can never be finished, but never even gets smaller. It is implied that they may also be indestructible. Wonka explained that they were ‘for children with very little pocket money.'”

So what does this have to do with a blog post or Google Plus?  Well, just like the Everlasting Gobstopper, certain types of blog posts can last forever, if not, at least for a very long time.

These types of posts are called Evergreen Posts. The reason for this title is that they are forever green, forever fresh.  These types of posts stand the test of time, year after year.  They may need some tweaks to help them freshen up, but mostly they are everlasting.

A good example of an evergreen post is a health and wellness website that has a post about weight loss tips.  People want to lose weight in January as well as July, so this would be considered an evergreen post.  Readers of a health and wellness website would most likely always be interested in weight loss tips.

Here are some other types of evergreen posts:

“How To” tutorials:  If you have techniques and specialized tutorials that will stand the test of time, these can be great sources of evergreen content.

Lists of Resources:  A list for beginners on the subject matter you’re blogging about can also be very effective.  My “Circle Starter Pack Post”  has been a great resource for people just getting […]

3 Questions Small Businesses Have About Social Media

As a small business owner you have your hands full, and trying to navigate through the basics of running a business is hard enough. But now you have to contend with understanding how to market your business in a whole new way – through social media.

Before you run screaming for the hills in fear of this sometimes unfamiliar way of marketing, take a moment to keep reading as we share three common questions small business owners have and how to overcome them.

According to Holly Berkley in an article about this subject, she shares five questions small business owners commonly ask her about how to market with social media.

Let’s take a look at some of these questions and explore the answers:

1.  How do I choose the right social media platform for my business?

This is probably the most common of these common questions! It’s understandable because there are so many to choose from and it is overwhelming trying to be everywhere at once. Berkley says, “Test a few of the social media sites that make the most sense for your business.” She goes on to give examples such as using Pinterest if you are a wedding cake or fashion designer, and LinkedIn if you’re a professional.

2.  Is having only <insert number here> of Facebook Fans/Twitter Followers, etc. a bad thing?

It’s easy to get frustrated about the lack of high numbers of likes or followers on your social media platforms, but keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “It’s better to have a smaller number of extremely targeted followers/friends/fans who want to hear from your company, than thousands of people who will never respond, share your message or convert to a customer,” explains Berkley.

She […]

The 13 Ghosts Of Google+

There have been many different stories in the media on how Google+ is a ghost town.  It’s been said that people sign up, they think no one is there , so they eventually end up leaving the platform.

I’m not here to argue about how great Google+ is, how its changed my business, or how its put me in contact with tons of incredible people.  I’m not going to mention any of those things.  I’m just going to introduce you to some “ghosts” that I’ve met in this ghost town.

These 13 Ghosts have helped me to use Google+ more effectively and network like never before.  All of these ghosts will engage with you if you make thoughtful comments and add to the conversation.  I’ve compiled some quotes from these Google+ Influencers that have helped me find success on my Google+ journey.

So, without further ado.  Let me introduce the 13 Ghosts of Google+.

“Be very selective about who you circle. Set up circles for different interests if you’d like, but be deliberate about the circles you create and the people you put into those circles. For most, the value that you’ll get from Google+ will depend in large part on who you circle and how much you hear from the people that matter most to you. And that all boils down to setting up your circles the right way and filling them with great, interesting people.”

“Being helpful on Google Plus is one of the fastest ways of growing an audience and building influence.”

“Google Plus will become an incredibly valuable place for you if you start by looking and listening. Look for those that talk about what interests you first. Listen to their conversations. Find the ones you […]

I Want Social Media To Work Now Daddy!

Just like Veruca in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, most people getting started in social media want results immediately.  They want it NOW! They want to post a couple of blog posts and see thousands of visitors start rolling in on their website.  Sadly, that is not usually the case.  Sometimes it feels like you’re blogging or posting into thin air and nobody knows you exist.

Most of the popular bloggers all had a similar experience when they started out.  They all struggled with finding their voice, getting an audience, and being heard.  But they all have one thing in common.  They stuck it out.  They were patient, even when it felt like no one was listening.

It’s easy to read successful and popular bloggers and say to yourself, “I’m never going to get there.”  One of my favorite quotes of all times is by Jon Acuff who says, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”  It takes perseverance and patience.

Here are some tips on being patient with your social media efforts.

Set Reasonable Goals
When you first start, don’t set goals like, “I’ll have 1000 people circle me in a month” or “I’ll get 500 page likes a week.”  Set a manageable goal such as, “I will post one new blog post a week” or “I will comment on a new post five times a week.”

Celebrate The Small Victories
When you hit those reasonable goals – celebrate!  Share them with friends who will encourage you.  Nothing will take the wind out of your sails faster than telling a friend, “I posted a new post every Tuesday this month and now have 10 new subscribers to my newsletter!” and have them say, “Really, is that all?”  Make sure you […]

5 Ways Pinterest Can Help Your Small Business

Did you know Pinterest can help your small business? Yes, you heard right. Pinterest isn’t just for pinning photos of your favorite recipes and cute, cuddly animals. It’s also an amazing tool for helping your small business reach more potential customers every day.

According to a study by Simply Measured, a social media analytics firm, 69 of the world’s top 100 brands are on Pinterest. This social media platform, which has only been around three years (as of this writing), is still driving more traffic to websites and blogs than Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube combined.

Interested in capitalizing on that action? Here are 5 ways this social media darling can help you grow your business:

Reach More People – 

According to Beth Hayden, the author of Pinfluence, the latest number of Pinterest users is about 11 million. I repeat – 11 million. That’s an amazing amount of people you can be marketing to if you’re on Pinterest. Hayden also states that up to 80% of Pinterest users are women between the ages of 25 and 55, but statistics show that more men are joining. Pinterest users are fairly wealthy with a yearly salary of 50,000+, making this social media platform one of the best ways to reach more people who can become some of your best customers.

Establish Yourself as an Expert – 

Create several Pinterest boards to provide your followers and potential customers with useful and educational information while promoting your products or services in fun ways. Post infographics, compelling photos and interesting facts about your business, include industry relevant pins as well, and be the one-stop resource page about your business.

Make Every Post Count – 

One definite way you can use Pinterest for your small business and drive […]

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    Increasing A Blog Post’s Traffic With Pinterest and PinWoot

Increasing A Blog Post’s Traffic With Pinterest and PinWoot

If you’re not using Pinterest to help with getting your blog more exposure, stop what you’re doing and go set up an account now!  It’s no exaggeration that Pinterest can easily be your number one source of traffic.  Power Pinner, Peg Fitzpatrick has said, “Pinterest pins have the longest shelf life of all social media platforms.”

So, how can Pinterest increase traffic to your blog?  Well, after you’ve pinned an image from your blog and have made sure that it’s linking back to your site correctly, it’s time to use a great tool called PinWoot.

A big hat tip to Wade Harman of www.bloggersmakemoney.com.  He was the first one to bring this tool, PinWoot, to my attention.

This tool literally has doubled the traffic to my blog posts, my follower count on Pinterest has shot up, and I’ve received a ton of likes and reshares as well.
Getting started on PinWoot
1.  Go create a free account at www.pinwoot.com.  It’s as easy as registering and verifying your email.  You can also login via Facebook, but I never recommend doing that.  I like to be in control of my account, not a 3rd party.

2.  Connect Your Pinterest Account.

3.  Fill Out Your Profile.  You can pick up to five interests and also write a short bio about yourself.

4.  Get Seeds.  By following people, liking and repining others content you receive “seeds”, PinWoot’s form of money.  By doing this, you raise enough seeds to purchase people to follow you or repin your images.
How I Doubled Traffic To My Blog Posts Over A Weekend
When I first tested this out I used two of my previous blog posts.  Don’t Tweet….Blog! and 4 Business Tips I Learned From Duck Dynasty.  I had previously posted these […]

Don’t Tweet…Blog!

Twitter is a great way to reach millions of people in 140 words or less, sharing news about your company or industry, retweeting other’s great nuggets of information or links to great sites. It’s also tempting for many businesses that are short on time, money and resources who want to jump into the social media fray quickly and effortlessly. But did you know that having a blog has a much greater return on your investment of time?

Sure, blogging has its challenges – it takes more time to craft a well-thought out blog post, add links and photos, and search engine optimization. But here’s the thing; when you have a blog connected to your website, you’ve essentially created a “home base” where you can establish yourself as an expert in your field and as a “thought leader” in your industry.

Your website and blog should be considered your core branding and content anchor site, where people can read your content for many years to come, instead of getting lost in the cacophony of tweets on Twitter which are soon filed away into an archive never to be seen or read again.

Another thing to consider is this; when you have your own blog, you’re creating and distributing valuable and unique content which answers questions and solves problems for companies and individuals, and will be considered a valuable resource for many years to come.

What would you rather have; a quick “flash in the pan” experience on Twitter regurgitating other people’s content on a free service that probably won’t last forever or provide your own, long-lasting content on a self-hosted blog which will engage and inform readers for years?

If you’re still not convinced you should blog before you tweet, […]

3 Ways To Improve Networking With Social Media

Social media networking is not about what you can get out of someone or what you can sell to them; instead, it’s about building relationships with people through authentic connection. There’s a reason it’s called “social” media; it’s a way for you to interact socially and connect with other people in an online setting that you would otherwise not be able to do traditionally through phone calls or regular mail.

It’s also a challenge to connect clearly and effectively while not wasting the other person’s time, but it can be done. To help you make meaningful connections and network better, we’ve provided a list of things to do to help you improve at social networking.
1.  Meet Them Where They Are
If you want to get in touch with someone you’ve never talked to before, find out where they hang out online. Look for their website and their contact page to see how they prefer to be contacted.

If it’s not clear how to reach them specifically, check their social media channels and research where they are the most active. If they rarely post on Facebook but they tweet throughout the day, this is the place to connect with them.
2.  Keep It Simple
Once you discover where they are, the next step is to reach out. However, this is where it becomes a challenge. Just because people are much more available because of social media, doesn’t mean we should bombard them with multiple messages through various channels or one long message on one channel.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to send a long email or social media message with all the reasons why you want to connect. Without building a relationship first, you are more likely […]

4 Business Tips I Learned From Duck Dynasty

Love ‘em or hate ‘em there is no denying that Duck Dynasty is the highest rated nonfiction series on cable.  Personally, we watch it as a family because it’s a clean funny show, and my kids love it.

While watching the show, I realized that there are some great business tips to take away from it.

Find Your Niche.  

Before there was any TV show, there was Duck Commander.  They did one thing.  Make and sell duck calls.  That’s it.  They branched out and sold other things later, but the backbone of their business was making and selling duck hunting products that worked.  They did that, and did it better than most.  What’s your niche?  What service or product are you doing better than others? Do you need to try a new idea?  Do you need to examine your business from another angle?  Why are your customers coming to you rather than your competitors? Find your niche and excel at it.

Be Yourself.  

Even though some of the shows settings are obviously staged, you can tell that these are real people from a real family. The Duck Dynasty clan has called it “guided reality.”  The producers may suggest a scenario but the way that it happens is purely from the Robertson family.  The authenticity that they are able to pull off is unmatched in reality TV.

Are you authentic in your business?  Are you trying to be something that your not?  Who are you?  What drives you? Authenticity works because if you are  relatable to your clients.  You are elevated above your competition as a trustworthy solution for their needs.

Make Time for Family.  

One of the reasons I believe Duck Dynasty is so popular is because of the family […]