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Tag: Social Media

How to Appear more Professional when Using Social Media

Social media is a fantastic tool if you want to try and expand your business. It can help you to branch out and it can even help you to connect with other professionals in the industry too. If you want to make the most out of it however then you need to remain professional, and this is easier said than done.

Add your Name

You should never have a nickname, or anything else similar when creating your social media profile. You need something that reads professionally, and you also want it to be easy for your customers to find you as well. For this reason, you should always put your full name across every profile that you have.

Professional Photos

They say that a photo speaks a thousand words, and this is most certainly the case when it comes to social media. If you are planning on using social media for your small business then you have to make sure that your photo is professional. If it isn’t then you won’t be giving your viewers the best impression of your brand and you also won’t be helping them to trust in your company.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/apps-blur-button-close-up-267350/

Username

Some social media sites require you to create a username, or even a handle. You have to make sure that this is closely tied in with your brand or your small business name. This will make it easy for your customers to find you and it will also help you to show up in the search results too. If you can’t have your brand name for any reason at all, then add a hyphen or a number.

Statement

Every social media page you have should have a statement.  Your statement should be consistent, and it should also state what you do and why. This will help people to get a solid understanding of what you have to offer before they even explore your page, and it will also convey your page personality too. If you are struggling to write a statement then there is nothing wrong with checking out other pages and using them to try and get some inspiration.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/apple-applications-apps-cell-phone-607812/

Address

Facebook is just one of the many sites that give you the chance to add an address to your

social media page. If you want to get the best result out of this, then you need to put down a professional address instead of your own. If you do not have a  business address to put down then it’s well worth looking into physicaladdress.com. This is a great way for you to get that professional profile without breaking the bank.

Content

Any content that is on your page should be free from spelling and grammar errors. You also have to make sure that it is unique and original too. Sure, sharing pages and even posts is great, but you need to contribute your own ideas if you want your audience to follow you and even take you seriously. Again, it doesn’t hurt to take inspiration from other profiles but make sure that you make it your own as much as possible.

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6 Ways Smart Tech is Impacting the Office Environment

Smart technology is all the rage. We have “smart” phones, “smart” homes, and “smart” appliances. As smart tech continues to evolve, there’s no wonder that it has impacted the office environment.

Tools such as cordless phones that work with smartphones and intelligent VoIP hubs only begin illustrating the new smart workplace. Behind the scenes, intelligent routers and automated data management workflows provide just a shadow of things to come.

You don’t have to wait for the future to enjoy the benefits of smart tech in your company. Get a glimpse of what’s possible by learning about the following ways a smart workspace can impact your business.

Collaboration

Already, Office 365 and Google Docs have allowed you to work with people around the world to edit documents. Cloud-based file sharing apps enhance that collaboration.

Now, smart tech has enhanced collaboration via screen sharing, allowing multiple people to work together on the same workstation. Meanwhile, virtual reality enables people to work together in 3D spaces to design and build everything from buildings to entire cities.

Most of all, smart collaboration technologies will permit you to draw from global labor pools. As a result, you can access world-class talent while building highly functional distributed teams.

Communication

Smart tech is allowing companies to move away from traditional email correspondence and telephone conversations. Already, consumers have grown to expect to interact with their favorite brands across multiple channels.

Now, you can get communications packages that unify all your communications within a single interface. Tools such as live text or video chat, for example, enable customers to choose how they contact your firm.

Smart technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are now automating communications. Thanks to chatbots and similar tools, you can let “virtual” agents handle basic service requests, saving your human agents for advanced tasks.

Home Offices

Smart tech has dramatically increased the capabilities of home offices. Thanks to the ubiquity of the cloud, you can slash overhead by hiring remote home-based workers rather than traditional employees.

As long as remote workers have internet access, they can connect with the same communications and collaboration tools they would use in your facilities. Your remote employees often show a higher level of job satisfaction and often produce more than their office-bound peers.

Small operations such as home-based businesses can also benefit from smart tech. By relying on innovative cloud solutions, a one-person operation can have the same capabilities as a global enterprise.

Time Management

Modern time management apps can “learn” your behavior and automatically update your schedule, helping you to get more done in less time. Thanks to artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms, smart tech can also help you prioritize your tasks.

Smart time managers can automate employee scheduling across multiple shifts and locations. When you have the right app in place, employees with smartphones can directly enter and edit their availability information.

If you normally use spreadsheets and manual data entry to calculate hours and wages, smart tech can help. Many time management apps will automatically populate your accounting and payroll apps with relevant data, saving time and improving accuracy.

Satisfaction

Call center software can now monitor customer interactions, including voice conversations to tell you when a customer is becoming agitated. Such systems can also assess agent performance and provide training recommendations.

Furthermore, smart tech can help you assess customer sentiment after every interaction by providing targeted surveys and follow-up emails. Similarly, you can use smart tech to identify upselling opportunities that can enhance the customer experience that you provide.

Smart tech can also improve customer satisfaction and retention through personalization. For example, social-media-aware CRM systems can learn about your contacts and use that data to craft targeted email messages.

Security

Thanks to smart tech, you can now exercise greater control over your network, workstations, and other IT resources. For instance, smart routers can proactively monitor network traffic and almost instantly disconnect suspicious activity.

Smart technologies are also improving antivirus and anti-malware applications, helping them to uncover threats before they become fully understood. Soon, intelligent apps will eliminate the need for virus definition databases and their associated updates, further improving your online security.

Smart tech can even improve the physical security of your company. Biometric devices can control access to every section of your facility, helping to reduce the damage caused by thieves and snoops.

 

In conclusion, smart technology is transforming the way people work. By embracing this trend, you and your business can work smarter, faster and thereby achieve a satisfying work-life balance.

 

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Growing Your Organization Online: Secrets, Strategies, And Systems

It’s no secret that online marketing can help business owners step into deeper and deeper dimensions of success. Whether you define success in terms of optimized conversion, more industry influence, a broader base of clients, or something else, growing your organization via internet will help you realize the objective. Below you’ll find several secrets, strategies, and systems that you can utilize to put the growth process in full effect:

1. Access The Power Of Content Marketing.

One of the strategies that savvy business owners utilize to grow their brands online is accessing the power of content marketing. Content marketing is important because it ensures that the videos, web articles, or blog posts you utilize to advertise your brand are relevant, intriguing, information-rich, or valuable to your audience in some other meaningful way. One big secret to success with content optimization is doing your target market research. The research process is imperative because it empowers you to determine what types of things your audience is interested in as well as the best way for you to communicate information to them. For example, your target market research process may lead you to see that your audience regularly uses specific channels like Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Once you conduct your target market research, you’re ready to start creating your content. One thing to consider throughout this process is the value of presenting your content in blog format. This approach can help you build an audience by increasing the likelihood that people will return to your blog again and again to read your new posts. Some textual elements that you may want to include in your blogs to take their quality from average to awesome include infographics and clever, concise calls to action. These textual elements make it easier for individuals to read your content.

2. Start Cultivating A High Quality Website.

In addition to accessing the power of content marketing, make sure that you begin cultivating a high quality website. This strategy will help grow your organization online by increasing traffic to your website. Increased traffic accelerates the brand recognition process while also helping you generate more sales and earn a higher ranking in the SERPs.

One great way to get on the road to cultivating a great website is examining your layout. There are a wide range of graphic design tools, strategies, and systems you could deploy to make the aesthetic of your site impeccable. In many if not most cases, really optimizing the aesthetic of the website will necessitate professional help. These days, there are hundreds of web design companies whose techies are trained in using colors, fonts, templates, and backgrounds in customized, creative ways which will make your website a visual masterpiece.

Another technique you can implement to make your website increasingly dynamic is obtaining web hosting services from companies such as Network Solutions. These hosting services can include things like a complimentary domain name, malware scans, email boxes, and 300 GB disk space.

Conclusion

Two strategies that you can use to grow your organization online are outlined above. Start incorporating them into your company’s current marketing plan so you can take your level of profitability, progress, and power to a new height.

 

 

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Here’s What the Experts Had to Say in “Social Media Marketing: The Movie”

On March 27, I released Social Media Marketing: The Movie. If you haven’t seen the 45-minute flick yet, you should check it out here.

Why did I make that movie? Because I wanted to learn from key experts about the best ways to use social media for business.

I interviewed well-known influencers such as Jay Baer, Michael Stelzner, Brenda Ster, Joel Comm, Mari Smith, Sue Zimmerman, Leslie Samuel, Sunny Lenarduzzi, Viveka von Rosen and Amy Landino. They shared some insights that a lot of marketers might not have heard before.

Here are just a few of the things that the pros had to say in Social Media Marketing: The Movie.

Get Your Priorities Right

“It’s social first, media second, and marketing last.”

That’s what content marketing expert Leslie Samuel told me when I interviewed him.

Samuel says that the biggest problem he sees is that people leave the “social” out of social media marketing. Instead of trying to build relationships, they just try to sell.

That won’t work.

He points out that people go on social media to connect with others and the things they care about. Marketers need to be aware of that when they’re approaching a social strategy.

Samuel tells them to start by asking the following questions: “How can I connect with people? What kinds of stories should I share?”

Then, create a content strategy that’s in line with the answers to those questions.

Samuel also advises strategists to create videos on social media. That’s a great way to stand apart from the competition.

Get Your Priorities Right, Part Deux

I also interviewed Internet entrepreneur Joel Comm. He said that marketers should approach their social media strategy in 4 stages:

  1. Know me
  2. Like me
  3. Trust me
  4. Pay me

Important: they have to go through the stages in that order.

Marketers should start off by using social media as a way to get the word out about their brands. Social media, by and large, is a point of entry at the very top of the sales funnel.

Next, strategists should get people to like them by posting content that others will love and share.

Then, marketers should get people to trust them. How they do that depends on their business models, but social proof and case studies are two great ways to develop trust.

Finally, they should go for the close.

Comm says that once marketers have developed trust, it’s a “very short hop” to land a sale.

Forget About Virality

Comm also had an interesting thing to say about virality.

Whenever people ask him how to produce viral content, Comm said that he shakes his head and tells them that they’re thinking about it the wrong way.

Instead of asking “How can I produce content that will go viral?” people should be asking “What kind of a story can I tell that’s so compelling that people will want to retell it?”

Remember: social media sites are designed for sharing. Most sites have a little button or a link that users can press to share something they enjoy.

So it’s not difficult for people to share content that they want to share.

It’s up to marketers to produce shareable content. Then and only then does that content have the potential to go viral.

Develop a Social Media Content Strategy

“We must stop random acts of Facebook.”

That’s what digital marketing expert Jay Baer told me. He’s spent 25 years in online marketing, wrote 5 books, and now runs a consulting company that helps the biggest companies in the world develop a social strategy.

And what does he mean by “random acts of Facebook”?

He means that marketers need to stop the haphazard practice of just sharing something on social media because they like it.

Instead, he says, they should develop a specific, target-rich social media strategy.

“If you’re trying to succeed,with Facebook for your business, the worst possible way to do that is to add stuff to Facebook when you feel like it about a crazy, random collection of topics,” Baer says. “It simply will not work. You absolutely have to have a set strategy about what you’re putting on Facebook, when, why, and for whom.”

He thinks of social networks as TV shows. By that he means that TV shows come on at the same time every week, they show predetermined content, and they appeal to a specific audience.

Marketers should produce one or more Facebook “shows.” They should share video, customer profiles, and other types of content on schedule. Each of those shares should appeal to a specific market segment.

Wrapping It Up

Of course, the experts had a lot more to say about social media marketing than what I’ve mentioned here. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to check out Social Media Marketing: The Movie.

 

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6 Mistakes Brands Should Avoid on Social Media

Using social media for marketing purposes appeals to numerous businesses because of the large number of daily users that log into popular social networks. Unfortunately, many brands have a hard time converting their media presence into new leads and sales. Many of them make mistakes that result in damaged reputation and even loss of customers.

However, you can improve your chance of success on social networks by being aware of common blunders some of those businesses make and learning how to avoid them. Here are five mistakes you should avoid in order to maximize your benefit from social media.

Not Having a Social Media Strategy

Businesses that haphazardly jump into social media have high expectations, but often fail to reach them. Such a mistake wastes time and effort and can deter the company from ever trying again.

However, you can have a smooth social media experience by first identifying your needs. After that, you should set goals and plan how to achieve them. Finally, your strategy needs to define how to monitor and assess your results.

Another aspect of your social media strategy is the tone of voice and personality your brand will use as it interacts. Taking this extra step can help you and your team effectively respond to customer inquiries, complaints and other feedback.

Being Insensitive

If you fail to be sensitive towards your audience, you can severely damage your reputation. In that case, your social media campaign may hurt you more than it helps.

Pay attention to how you communicate and how what you say comes across to your audience. In other words, be sensitive to their perspectives and circumstances.

For starters, the transparent nature of social media means that everyone can see how you treat your customers. That means you need to treat everyone with respect, even when they’re angry or complaining.

In addition to your vocabulary and tone of voice, make sure you are sensitive about your use of humor. In other words, what you think is funny might either offend or insult someone else.

Ignoring Negative Feedback

Social media has become the most popular channel for customer support. However, many brands make the mistake of ignoring customer feedback on their social media profiles, especially if it’s negative. When this happens, problems fester and often go viral. As a result, even small issues become major headaches.

Avoid the mistake others have made by giving prompt and courteous attention to every comment, even if it’s negative. Rather than pretending that no problem exists, be proactive and work to find a satisfactory solution.

You can even go the extra mile and use social listening techniques to pinpoint comments that aren’t aimed at you directly. Paying attention to what others are saying about your brand without using the @ symbol gives you the chance to act before a problem escalates. It also shows you care about your customers and displays a positive brand image.

Not Offering Value

Companies that use social media to bombard their audience with sales pitches make a blunder that offends audiences and drives them away. In other words, posting only promotional content to your social media pages may hurt your business.

Such a misuse of social media usually results from a misunderstanding of the nature of social networks. For the most part, people log into their favorite social sites for the purpose of socializing. When you compel them to buy, they will most likely stay away from your accounts.

Avoid this error by publishing valuable content that improves life for your audience. In addition to posting material that you and your team create, post content from external sources. Also, don’t forget to share content that entertains, even if it’s not directly relevant to your business.

Neglecting Security

With the rising numbers of hacking attacks on social media accounts, it is essential to take the necessary safety precautions. Failing to do so could have negative consequences on your business. Just imagine what would happen if a hacker hijacked your Twitter account and started posting offensive tweets. This would certainly hurt your brand’s reputation and possibly cost your business money.

The first step to keeping all your social media accounts safe is installing antivirus and anti-malware software on all your in-house computers. Another important step i s educating your employees about using strong passwords and changing them often.

They should also know about the dangers of accessing your business’ social media accounts via public Wi-Fi networks. These networks are not encrypted which means that a hacker can intercept the password you use to login to your accounts. If avoiding public Wi-Fi is not possible, make sure your employees use a virtual private network (VPN) for a safe connection.

Not Engage With Your Followers

Finally, remember to socialize on social media. You can get so busy posting and sharing content that you forget to interact. If you just post and run, such a blunder can torpedo your social media effort.

When people follow your profile and you follow them in return, you build a sense of friendship and trust. Similarly, you can achieve a lot by sharing content posted by the people who share yours.

Your main goal should be to engage with your followers. Doing so maintains the spirit of social media while building trusting relationships that eventually will lead to new sales.

Final Thoughts

Using social media doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, the above five blunders frequently ruin reputations of companies and their brands. However, by using these tips to create and implement a social media strategy that adds value to and engages the community, you’ll be set up for success.

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GUSET POST: Impact of Social Media on Business

Most entrepreneurs and small companies wonder how to generate greater impact on their audience and how to reach potential customers that may be outside their local area. Social media can offer a great way to get in touch with them and benefit from the possible feedback and communication that is activated through these channels.

There are clear benefits that can be achieved through the creation of pages, blogs, and events you can share on social media networks. Here are some aspects that must be considered when starting to work with social media.

Increased traffic to Your Website

This is one of the main benefits of investing time, money and effort into the social media platform of your business. Increasing exposure means more visibility; it means getting more views and more people to try your products and services. As simple as this, if your business does not have a window nobody will ever see what you have to offer, social media is a window to the world, not only to your local street.

There are several ways to increase the traffic to your site. Twitter, for instance, is excellent to share content using short and provocative texts that get the reader’s attention, so they are inspired to check out your quality content. Remember that adding quality content is the first requirement for successful social media investment. The audience that is attracted to your content is always looking for uniqueness, creativity, and updated information. Make sure you offer it, and they will surely return.

Enhanced Relationship with Customers

Pages, forums, groups, and events give the opportunity to people to contact you more often. Customers have valuable insights that can be easily shared through a comment section or a video response. You can also offer great customer support if your clients feel they can reach you and have you listen to their concerns, complaints, and comments.

It can be a little fuzzy at the beginning; from the various sources of connection between you and your clients that are available right now, you have to choose the one that suits your business better. If you do not know how to start a blog or how to run a customer support page, there are teams of experts always willing to give you a hand.

Lead Generation

As the business grows and gets involved in social media, leads can also grow about 50% faster when compared to not using social media at all. Remember that it is not only about getting names and phone numbers; leads have to be interested in what you are doing. Good quality leads are engaged in what you do and have a need for what you offer.

Measuring Social Media ROI

Once the social media machinery has been set into motion, it is necessary to measure how effective it is. It can be a little difficult to measure ROI (Return on Investment) because there is no direct button to calculate this. There are, however, certain tools that allow the media team to calculate how people are interacting with the resources given. Campaigns need to engage the audience and make them like, comment and follow directions so as to be considered successful.

Negative Customer Reviews

It is a very simple equation, the more visible and reachable your business is the more exposed and vulnerable to negative reviews is going to be. Negative reviews are many times visible to other customers that may be using and interacting with your pages and websites, this can be potentially harmful if not treated carefully.

Complaints and comments have to be read and answered, most of the times customers just want to be heard and to feel their opinions are taken into account. Make sure to channel their voices so as to control the impact they may have on the rest of the audience.

Daily Monitoring

Having a site, page or app needs special and daily monitoring for all the interactions that are going to occur. One of the characteristics of this new and modern era of communication is that everything happens fast and people are used to having answers and results immediately. If the group of the company is left alone for a couple of days the next time you read the analytics, you’ll notice how interaction plummeted, and you may have lost a few members.

Several tools can make monitoring easier for you or your social media team. From Google Analytics to HootSuite, the options are varied and offer multiple ways of obtaining and interpreting the interaction of the people. Depending on the area that you want to tackle you may want to use one social media platform or another, Facebook may be great to share events, Pinterest if you want a more visual approach or LinkedIn for a business style vision.

Regardless of the social media platform that you prefer to use to approach your audience and potential clients, it is vital to remember that there must be a team in charge of monitoring and analyzing the behavior of the pages so as to understand how deep the impact of your business is.

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The Year in Review: Advice from Working at Home

This was a transition year for me. One from writing at home part time and working part time to writing and working in publishing at home full time. We moved, from a place I love, to Kuna, a small town just outside Boise, Idaho. I miss that place, but in the transition, I learned a few things that have led me to some resolutions, and some advice to authors everywhere, full or part time.

Network. There is nothing like sitting down in person with another author, or talking to them on the phone, away from your keyboard. An in person writer’s group is invaluable. Finding a critique partner like finding a discarded diamond in the gutter: it will change your life and your writing career. So often as writers we feel that we are alone and strange. (sometimes, alone because we are strange) No one will understand you better than another writer who is going through the same things. Find them in your neighborhood, meet with them, talk with them, and share with them. You will all be winners. Find yours this year, if you have not already.

Exercise. One of my biggest concerns going into the New Year is my physical health. It is easy to start working, and sit in front of a screen all day long. Stay fit, eat right, and your writing and the rest of your life will be better for it. Take care of your body, because it houses that wonderful mind of yours, the one that likes to tell stories.

Take time off. My mental health and my work is better when I take time to walk away. Take at least one day off a week (don’t even turn on that computer), and go do things with your family and friends. Story ideas will flow better, writing will feel easier, and those dreaded re-writes and edits will feel less like work. Remember why you do what you do, and take time to appreciate the freedom it provides.

Get help. Hire help, trade for help, beg for help, but get help. Not a good accountant? Find someone who is. Need help with graphic design? Hire someone or trade some of your skills for some of theirs. Need marketing help? Do your research, but consult with professionals. Sometimes the one little piece of advice they offer can save you hours, days, or better prevent you from making an embarrassing mistake public.

Write. Sounds obvious, but there are two aspects to this I have learned this year. First, that stuff written quickly is better. It is more full of emotion, with less thinking. People want to feel through fiction, and thinking is secondary. Write from the heart, and usually that is done faster. Second, writing is why you got into this in the first place. Not to be a social media icon (like George Takei) or a twerking sensation (Miley Cyrus). You got into this to be a writer, so write.

Read. As an author, you read your own stuff over and over. As an editor, I read tons of crap before I find a gem, and I have to dissect even the gems. Want to fuel your passion to write? Read good stories. For every draft you write, for every story you sell, treat yourself to reading a really good book, whether that is one of the classics or a new sensation from an up and coming indie author.

Watch great movies. Great movies are great stories put on the screen Watch, and see how they are constructed. Use what you discover to inform your own work. Besides that, who doesn’t want to laugh at Jackie Chan or watch Sylvester Stallone embarrass himself on screen from time to time?

Lastly, read and watch non-fiction. Call it research. Call it continuing education. I don’t care what you call it, just do it. You will discover story ideas, new developments that will aid your fiction, grounding it better in reality. Browse it in the library. Subscribe to magazines. Watch your friends social media feed for that science gem. But never, ever stop learning.

I plan to do all of these next year, better. Let’s not call them resolutions as much as goals. Tangible, practical, and just plain fun. What do you plan to do? What would you add to this list?

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It’s Social Networking not Social Net-Twerking

Stop ‘twerking’ all over social media

Advertisements. We all love to hate them. We Dub Step remix the funny ones, cry at touching ones, and cringe when the ones we hate blast out of our speakers when all we really want to do is keep watching our show. They’re an interruption, but have always tried to be an entertaining one. What better reason to watch the Super Bowl than for the zany commercials?


Social media is different, and there is a reason. We expect advertising in newspapers, magazines, and on the TV and Radio. On a deep level we understand they pay for programming, even if we don’t like it. But social media is just that: a social network for being—well, social. So advertisements are considered interruptions, even rude if improperly done. So how do you cope? Just forsake social media ads? No! Social media, specifically Facebook, drives people to publishers and books more than any other avenue right now.

Stop shaking your stuff all up in our faces. Don’t post drive by ads in groups or on hashtags. First, they don’t do any good. Most of the time, they are just passed over. Look down the feed for two things: first see if there are any likes, shares or comments on posts or favorites and retweets on Twitter. If there aren’t any, you are just posting to a group or #hashtag with a whole bunch of other drive-by-posters. If there is no meaningful interaction, chances are all the real folks have bailed, and you are trying to sell apples to apple growers. Stop the madness. You aren’t doing your book, business, or the social platform any favors.

Also, see if your post from the day before is just a few spots below the one you are posting now. If if is, don’t post. Nothing is worse than seeing a group filled with posts only by one person.  Well, maybe a stick in the eye is worse, but it is pretty bad.

Talk to me Goose! Advertising on social media is not about being intrusive, or even an entertaining interruption, but starting or joining a conversation. You need to look for places that are discussing either reading, the subject of your book, or something related to you and what you do. React to relevance, do not try to force your way in. If you do advertise, say something relevant to the conversation or the group about your work. Don’t just post links and disappear. You will be ignored, banned, perhaps even hated. In social media, not all publicity is good publicity.  Talk, converse, and realize that sometimes, less is more.

Don’t lick a hammer to get attention. If you dedicated a six months to a year of your life and over 60K words to talk about something, the likelihood is you had a story to tell and you told it. Now convince us we need to read it because it matters or should matter to us. Be visible, but don’t draw attention to yourself through foolish antics. Let your work speak for you, but be ready if someone wants to reach out.

Sounds simple right? It is and it isn’t. The social media world is one where the rules are ever changing, and the herd is migratory. Traditional marketing media is not dead either, just gasping for breath and struggling to adapt and survive. So think about the message you are sending next time you are about to flex your advertising thighs, bend your advertising knees, stick your groove thing out there and shake it baby, shake it. You may draw the wrong crowd, or you may chase all of them away, frightened and looking for an eyewash station.

Now back t’work. Until next time.

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George and the Achievers

What Authors (and others) Can Learn About Marketing from the Achievers and George Takei

Part 1: Your Core Audience

ent37How does a star of a television program that aired in the late 1960’s rise in social media to have 3.8 million followers, sell out a musical performed at the Globe in San Francisco about Japanese citizen interment in the United States during World War II, and influence opinion nationwide about marriage equality and LBGT rights?

How do Will Russell and Scott Shuffitt go from tattoo vendors at a convention in 2002 to international sensations by 2009, hosting conventions centered around a movie released in March of 1998 with minimal success and a small cult following?

You’ve written a great book. The people who have read it that are not your

 mother, father,

 brother, sister, cousin . . . you get the idea, have told you so. Not enough of them have read it though. How do you get it noticed? How do you go from a small book with a

small cult following to an international sensation? What can we learn from the two examp

les above?

 

Disclaimer: I am not a master marketer. I am just learning some of these things myself. I don’t have 3.8 million followers, and I haven’t filled a convention center in Las Vegas with 4,000 people to watch an old movie together and quote movie lines. I’m just a writer like you, trying to tap into the mystery.

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What George and the Achievers have in common:  Both started with a core group of fans, gathered around a single idea. George started with Trekkies. Basically a core group of geeks who followed one television series. (Yes, I am one. So what?)

The Achievers began as two guys who loved the movie The Big Lebowski and started quoting movie lines back and forth at a tattoo convention. They noticed they weren’t the only ones quoting lines, and decided to have a party at a local bowling alley, where fans could bowl and watch the movie while drinking White Russians. By 2009 there were gatherings around the world, and fans were traveling thousands of miles to “official” conventions.

The secret? They both started with a core group of fans, centered around one thing they had in common. When those people gathered, they found they had other things in common. George expanded his audience by embracing one of his passions. It may have alienated some, but it gained him a great following.

So how do you do the same thing? Ask yourself: what do all of your fans have in common? What is a passion they all share, that would also appeal to other people and draw them to your work?

A hint: the common factor is not your book. Not yet. What’s the theme of your book, the central idea, that would draw people to read it? Why did you write your story, and why does it resonate with others?

Of course, this is only the first step that both George and the Achievers took to build a fan base. We will look at the next step next week. Until then, you have homework. Follow George on Facebook if you don’t already, and watch what he posts and when. Second, watch the documentary The Achievers and watch their idea take off. Here’s a link to the trailer. Now write on!

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