Small Business

The Manly Show – Reusing, Recycling, and Repurposing

While most of us spend a whole lot of our lives creating the content that drives folks to our various online efforts, few take the time to consider new ways to reuse and repurpose all of that awesome content.

Have no fear, content creators, because joining us for the June 26 episode of The Manly Show is the one and only Jason T. Wiser, host of the HOA/video podcast series “Get on Track, Stay on Track’”and master of repurposing content.

Wiser knows what he’s talking about, heading the digital strategy consulting firm Webination Station, which specializes in helping small businesses, churches, and various NPOs make the move from purely brick and mortar operations to building an online presence.

With a focus on digital assists (website, social media profiles, SEO, local business directories, email marketing, video, and podcasts), Wiser is also launching Repurpose.pro, a website dedicated to developing training modules for content creators – as well as the Virtual Assistants that will take advantage of various repurposing strategies.

Joining Wiser are The Manly Show regulars Mike Allton, Wade Harmon, Stephan Hovanian, and myself, Jeff Sieh.

On this episode, we delve into what repurposed content actually is, when you should do it, how to repurpose for various social media platforms, and how often you should do it, among other aspects of repurposing.

Here is a list of questions we discussed:

What is repurposing content? What does it actually mean? (2:10)
How often should we repurpose content? (3:21)
Once you do a Hangouts On Air, how do you repurpose it? (5:15)
On particular services (such as Google+), how often should you repurpose content? (11:55)
How much do you council a client to re-share their material? (18:55)
How do you repurpose content for a different audience, and is it worth […]

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    Beard Oil, Beard Buddy, And Me – An Adventure In Customer Service

Beard Oil, Beard Buddy, And Me – An Adventure In Customer Service

For those of you who watch my online shows, – The Manly Pinterest Tips Show and The Manly Show, you’ll know that I’ve been growing a beard for awhile now.  For those who are facially follicley challenged and have never had a long beard before (myself included), there are some products that are absolutely necessary to become acquainted with.  Namely beard oil.

Now I’m not talking about slapping some thick motor oil on your chin curtain and letting it drip down your face or a greasy looking mustache that looks like you went bobbing for french fries.  I’m talking about a product that helps you have softer, more manageable whiskers and that helps your beard hold its shape and smell nice at that same time.

I found a sample from a brand that I liked and fell in love with how it worked and smelled (the wife loved it too so that was a big plus).  I ordered a small bottle from an online company, and I even collected points for future orders.

After a couple of months, I ran out of the oil in the small bottle and decided to bite the bullet and order the bigger bottle.  The downslide to quality beard oil is that it is pricy, but I really liked the product so I thought it was a great investment. I say investment because as I mentioned before, the wife liked it.  End of story.

So the bottle arrived via UPS and I cracked it open for a night on the town and YIKES! This stuff smelled funky!  Not the pleasant, subtle, aroma that I was expecting but something like a small creature had crawled into the bottle and had given up the ghost–with […]

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    Email Marketing with Stephan Hovnanian and Wade Harman [VIDEO]

Email Marketing with Stephan Hovnanian and Wade Harman [VIDEO]

Stephan Hovnanian and I were on Wade Harman’s Google+ HOA show, Relationship Marketing, where the three of us discussed the importance of being trustworthy and creating personal relationships with your email subscriber base.

Wade, who now blogs at wadeharman.com, has a very interesting work history. Before he became a blogger, social media marketer and HOA show host, Wade was a coal miner in Southwestern Virginia, where he worked six days a week deep underground using a machine called a ‘scoop’.

A few years ago, he was injured on the job, and needed a find a new source of income. The rest, they say, is history.

In our time together, Stephan, Wade, and I went over how we manage our email lists, how we engage and build relationships with those who opt-in, where to locate opt-ins among your content, and how to grow and maintain your list.

Here’s a list of questions we discussed:

Why should you try to have a personal relationship with people who opt-in to your email list? (4:15)
How do you set up your blog for emails? What kind of opt-in techniques work best? (9:10)
Why did Stephan decide to put his email opt-in below his posts? (10:53)
What types of people respond to the free offers we use to get them to join our email lists? Are they responsive later? (13:06)
Why should you have a dedicated landing page for email subscriptions? (15:42)
Are exclusive offers useful to drive signups? (17:03)
Do you purge your email list? (19:35).
What’s the secret to growing email lists? (19:57)
Once you get people to opt-in to your email list, how do you build trust with them in your messages to them? (20:38)
What are some writing tips to help build relationships? (25:17)
Do you change your headline every […]

The Death Of Captain Underpants

Just like that, Captain Underpants is dead, never to be see again. And yes, I was Captain Underpants.

Let me explain.  I used wake up in the morning, stretch, and head off to start the coffee.  Once my bloodstream was sufficiently caffeinated, I’d sit at the kitchen table and do work on my laptop.

When my kids eventually woke up, they really thought it was funny to see Dad sitting at the table with his boxers and T-shirt working on the computer.  Hence the moniker, Captain Underpants.

So why is Captain Underpants dead?  What has changed?  Well, Google Hangouts is what happened.

For those of you who don’t know, Google Hangouts is an instant messaging and video chat platform which includes both desktop and mobile versions.  All of that is great, but the real killer is the video conference capabilities.

Gone are the days where I can sit at the table and work without a care for what I look like.  Gone are the days where a morning shower isn’t necessary, and a baseball cap is part of my uniform.  Captain Underpants is truly dead.  Now, in any given moment, a client may request a video chat to ask for help with a problem.  Or I may be watching a Google Hangout On Air (more on that in a minute), and the host may ask that I leave the audience and be part of the show. It truly has changed the way that I work.

Not that I’m complaining.  Ever since I’ve started using Google Hangouts, my networking has gone through the roof.  If you have never been involved in a Hangout before, it’s hard to describe how much a face-to-face video call can tell you about another person.  I’ve […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Google Plussers-Video Edition

A couple of weeks ago Mike Allton, whom I have circled and follow on Google+, wrote a great article called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Google Plussers.

In the article he gave seven habits that people who are having success on Google+ typically are doing.  Those habits are:

Post Thoughtful Content
Share Other People’s Content
Engage Other People
Mention Other People
Promote Other People
Be Consistent
Complete Your Profile (more…)

Solving Small Business Problems with Social Media

If you’re a small business owner (SMB), then you’re probably no stranger to the frustration of not having enough time, people, or money to do everything you need to do to market your business. As content marketing continues to rise in popularity and necessity, companies are realizing the need for an online presence. However, most of these businesses don’t have enough technical knowledge, staff, or time to properly manage their social media and content marketing.

According to the Census Bureau, there are approximately 4.5 million SMB’s with less than 10 employees, which means resources are already strained and having a dedicated staff to manage your social media is nearly impossible.

Some of the issues SMB’s face are:

Limited Budgets
Lack of Time
Technical Knowledge
Creating Content
Return on Investment (ROI)

Do you recognize any of these issues as your own? If so, you’re not alone and you don’t have to worry; there’s plenty of help through social media which will equip you with the knowledge to help overcome these challenges.

Hashtag Search and Chat on Twitter:

Twitter lets you search for specific topics using a hashtag (#), and two of the most popular ways marketers and small business owners search for content specifically tailored to their needs is by typing #SMB and #SmallBusiness into Twitter’s search feature.

You can also chat with other SMB’s on Twitter using the tag #bizforum on Wednesday’s at 8 p.m. EST. Small business owners and marketing experts get together and talk about trends in the industry, marketing strategies and more. To find out more or to search for other scheduled Tweet Chats specific to your industry, topic, or need, you can find a full list at Practical eCommerce.

Google+ Communities:

The communities on Google+ are becoming popular with SMB’s, and the Small […]