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Showing posts from April, 2018

You Don't Know Jack About Social Media Until You've Worked With Experts

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Last fall I remember feeling disappointed that I never seem to have much time for learning anymore. I was thinking the small business people taking my courses were smart to commit a half day a week to learn key marketing skills. I learn while I'm teaching, but it's not skills related to my business development.

Then in November, along came Anita Kirkbride with her plans for the Social Media Day Halifax 2018 Conference. While I knew enough about social media marketing to do a good job for my own business and help a couple of clients, I quickly discovered there's a whole lot I didn't know until I started working closely with Anita and Tina Capalbo on the Conference.

Since January I've been prodded to record video, participate in Facebook Live sessions, and learn things about Instagram and chatbots and ... too many other things to list here. Often I've been surprised at how much I don't know about social media - strategy, tactics, apps and tools, best practic…

How To Give and Get Great Referrals

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Originally published in Work Better, Not Harder newsletter March 27, 2018
How about that feeling when a colleague sends you a new referral? Great, eh? Referrals are so much more than new business; they're also a sign of trust. That's why we need to treat our referrals with such care.

But what happens when you discover a referral isn't so good... or is downright wrong for you?

During the past few months, I've been on both ends of this interaction. It can be awkward for all three parties.

It comes down to expectations. The referrer sets certain expectations when they make the referral - and they can be about any number of things, including prices and turnaround time.

Unfortunately, the referrer may not know the business they are referring has changed their offering - so it no longer meets those expectations. Disappointment abounds.

How to receive good referrals: A good friend once told me how important it is to keep my potential referrers informed about changes in my busi…

How Do You Know If What You're Doing Is Working?

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If you aren't looking at statistics at all, how do you know if your online marketing efforts are paying off? You don't need to have a complex Google Analytics set-up to keep an eye on trends. Yes, hard numbers are good to know but trends give you strategic information.

Anita Kirkbride and I used a similar chart to the one above when we presented at BlogJam 2015 - back then the top line was 9,000 pageviews per month instead of 20,000. I can tell you exactly what I changed at key points (at Anita's urging) which had a direct effect on my blog readership:
June 2011 - I started using social media.September 2012 - I started blogging more and sharing posts more frequently on Twitter, in particular; results were obvious by December.December 2013 - I started posting daily enewsletter tips on Twitter and LinkedIn.2nd half of 2016 - I started posting daily newsletter tips on Google+. I've tried lots of other tactics, too - some have contributed in little ways, others have gone by…

Old Tech for New Content Ideas

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File cards - yup, I've been walking around with a few in my purse, wrapped in an elastic band. File cards are fantastic for catching your great content ideas, and here's why:
Small size - less space than a notebook and no bigger than a cell phoneEntertainment - can keep you occupied while on the bus or waiting at a coffee shopTransportable - featherweight, fits in your back pocketSkins/cases are cheap - you can change the colour of the elastic band whenever you wantExpandable - easy to add notes or do a quick outlineCustomizable - different colours, lined or unlined, different sizes, add star stickers to your best ideasRecyclable Plus they enable creativity. When you're frustrated, throw them up in the air. Examine how they land to see unexpected connections. This is a tactic of Sue Grafton's private detective Kinsey Millhone... and it works for content, too.
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Online Products Don't Sell Themselves

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Of course, we all know this, don't we? Yet there is a multi-million dollar industry based on DIY marketing that somehow makes us forget this VERY IMPORTANT aspect of our business strategies. Or perhaps it makes us feel overconfident in our abilities to both sell and market our own products.

Being reminded of the work involved to prepare, and then sell and market an online product was my biggest takeaway (of many) from the day I spent with Frances Leary this week. I knew it, now I feel it... a refreshing dose of reality.

So, even though I'm capable of doing much of the "work" part of my project, I'm paying for expert help so I can stop talking about it and get it done.

Can I contain my inner control freak enough to let this happen? I'm determined.

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