Tag Archives: personal branding

You can reach 1,000,000 people within a few minutes with great post on Facebook -- if it gets shared and syndicated. Only a few newspapers can reach that many readers (such as the New York Times or LA Times.)

Is Facebook fan page advertising useless?

This week, a controversial Gallup poll declared that social media was all but useless, and that nobody was influenced by social media ads and it was all a bunch of hooey.

I was immediately suspicious that results from the Gallup survey were skewed by the print and TV media. Mainstream media are late to the social game and totally threatened by the amazing reach of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and You Tube — now reaching millions and even hundreds of millions–numbers that vastly exceed print media.

They’re also probably very threatened by Facebook advertising, which is much cheaper than print/broadcast, and reaches that oh so desirable Millennial demographic that doesn’t read or watch TV anymore.

Since I live in Facebook stats all day long, I know the truth — one post can reach more people than an article in the New York Times. Sure, Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner are no doubt losing sleep over that.

Facebook ads, and Yelp, also, can be targeted with laser-like focus on extremely niche local demographics — something print media can’t do quite as well because print is either niche and national or broad and local . Print media and TV are rarely niche and local.

Internet radio still does a lousy job of targeting its ads to any meaningful niche. Local radio still thrives because it’s both targeted and local.

I’ve been doing PR (press relations) since the days when we used fax machines and FedEx — before the Internet existed. Back then, print media was king. Getting an article that reached 100,000 readers in a national print magazine was a big deal. I think some people are still attached to the “prestige” of Print but do not realize that they can actually reach bigger numbers with social media, with far more control over their message.

Print is still very valuable — but now more because it drives traffic to your website and gives you SEO rank in Google.

In the good old days, it was an even bigger deal to end up in a big newspaper like the New York Times and reach 1 million readers. If you got on TV you might (woo hoo) reach an aggregate of 2 million people through multiple TV news stories and a video news release after spending $250,000 on a press conference and a product launch.

Times have changed. Now you can reach just as many people in a few minutes with a single Facebook post or self syndicated blog post — or half a billion with a You Tube video.

PR IS DEAD — LONG LIVE SOCIAL MEDIA?

I’ve been saying “PR is dead,  long live Social PR” for a few years now. I was a little ahead of the curve. I was also sitting around listening to the phone not ring from PR clients, and watching stories not appear in publications that were disappearing, so I was ahead of the curve and got into social media.

Now it’s clear that shift has happened.

Social media is not optional anymore. If you’re not leveraging social media to amplify your message, it’s as if you don’t exist.

Social media is now the front line of most successful marketing programs. Social media is where you distribute your message first — and later it’s picked up by the news media.

(The exception is if you are a publicly-traded company. If so, then SEC regulations require that you announce news on the newswire first, and your key media are pre-briefed under a non disclosure agreement.)

Traditional PR is still very important, but it serves a different role now–in tandem with social media. After your story appears in the news media, they use their larger networks to “syndicate” your message to their networks. You then in turn amplify the message further by syndicating their content on your networks.

Articles and reviews in mainstream media also provide credibility and great content for your website and social media to leverage, and they will boost your search rank (SEO) in Google forever.

WITH SOCIAL MEDIA, YOU MAKE YOUR OWN NEWS

Social media is the “information hub” of your marketing wheel — and your personal social networks at the “hub” that links to other social networks and communities worldwide. The press and publications are some of those networks–but no longer the primary one.

In the old days, you sent press releases to actual members of the press for distribution. Newswires were only available to the press.

Nowadays, you are the press and you syndicate your news over social media, in addition to the press. A press release on the wire now reaches everyone on the planet at once.

Here’s an example of the reach a press release typically gets now on the Internet. As days go by, this number increases, infinitely, and many of these impressions remain on the web forever.  A press release mentioning a company traded on NYSE or NASDAQ would get much more impressions — this was what I got for a small business — 32,000 in two days. This doesn’t include the amplification from self syndicating this story on the client’s social networks. It would be difficult for a small business to get out the word that fast with traditional media.

Example of the traffic generate in two days from a well written, key word tagged press release.
Example of the traffic generate in two days from a well written, key word tagged press release for a small business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTS COMMUNITIES GLOBALLY

Here’s another example of that from the Unify.org campaign that illustrates how the Unify Facebook fan page links to other Fan pages and organizations, creating huge amplification for each post. (A single Unify post is often shared more than 5,000 times, reaching literally millions of people worldwide with no advertising.) Even with Facebook’s new restrictions, by utilizing this kind of networking, you can spread your message very rapidly and globally.

Illustration of overlapping social media communities. This strategy helped build Unify.org into one of the largest communities on Facebook. I helped write the strategic plan for Unify and was part of the core group of social media experts behind Unify.
Illustration of overlapping social media communities. This strategy helped build Unify.org into one of the largest communities on Facebook. I helped write the strategic plan for Unify and was part of the core group of social media experts behind Unify.

This strategy helped build Unify.org into one of the largest communities on Facebook. I helped write the initial strategic social media plan for Unify and was part of the core group of social media experts that helped ramp the page up. This is now one of the most viral social media communities on the planet.

As you can see in the screen shot above, it’s very possible to reach 1 million people with a single post if it’s shared, tagged and amplified with well targeted paid Facebook “boosting.” 


 

Social media is a virtual party.  Is your fan page a backyard barbecue, a formal cocktail party, a corporate conference or a drum circle?

Is your Facebook fan page a cocktail party, a barbecue, a conference or a drum circle?

Social media is a virtual party.  Is your fan page a backyard barbecue, a formal cocktail party, a corporate conference or a drum circle?
Social media is a virtual party. Is your fan page a backyard barbecue, a formal cocktail party, a corporate conference, a yoga class or a drum circle?

The funny thing about social networking is…we often forget that it’s just a virtual party. It’s not about amassing tons of “fans” so you can have the biggest party — it’s about inviting the right people and serving tasty snacks and drinks.

It’s about playful banter, music and laughter.

You know what happens when you talk sex or politics at a party — dead silence.

A cocktail party is NOT the place to pull out a gigantic billboard and say HEY BUY MY PRODUCT! (Unless you are a paid sponsor with a table or booth.)  And imagine if you pulled up your shirt and showed off your appendix scar?

But people do this all the time on Facebook! They forget it’s a party.

A great Fan page is an authentically engaged community where you have a conversation — even better if your tribe cares about what you have to say and shares it with their communities. At a party this is called gossip and word of mouth. On Facebook it’s called sharing and viral marketing.

Remember — a great party is not about QUANTITY it’s about QUALITY. Be selective. Invite the right people. Dress to impress — or stand out in the crowd. Serve good spirits and keep the music upbeat and the conversation as bubbly as champagne.

We are not collecting fans or contacts for Ego — we are collecting real human beings and we should care about them as much as we hope they will care about us.

Think about the real world equivalent of your Fan page. How would you interact in these different real world parties or events?

50 friends or less = backyard barbecue, workshop,  a drum circle.
150 friends or less = a tribe, a retreat, a big party, wedding, etc.
1000 friends or more = a conference
2000 friends or more = industry trade show, music festival
10000 fans or more = sporting event or concert
100,000 fans or more = gigantic stadium event
1 million fans or more = broadcast on television

And here’s a great metaphor for Fan pages from #socialmediamixology:

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Give your personal brand a makeover.

8 free (or cheap) ways to give your web branding a new look for the New Year

Giselle Bisson:

Eight cheap (or free) ways to give your online image a new look for the New Year.

Originally posted on Visibility Shift - Shift your visibility to the next level.:

Start the new year with a fresh new look for your personal brand.

This down time between Christmas and the first week of the New Year is a perfect opportunity to give your personal branding a lift and start the New Year with a fresh image.

Here are eight ways you can use free templates and other inexpensive tools available on the web to give your business or personal brand a lift.

1. Reinvent your name for the new year.

Is your business name unique–or is it lost in the crowd? Consider finding a new name for your business and a unique URL — an identifier that people type into the browser to find your website. Do a little research on  Go Daddy or directly from WordPress, and see if your business name (or your personal name, or the name of your book) is available. If your name is generic, hard to remember or hard to spell, change it today before you…

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Personal branding: Think like a search engine. It’s all about attraction

Cover of "The Secret (Extended Edition) [...
Cover via Amazon
When it comes to marketing and promoting yourself or your business, think like a search engine.

A search engine is all about the Law of Attraction. It is about Pull not Push.

Search engine marketing is about creating content with specific key words and waiting for it to be found by the exact people seeking it.

You do not knock on doors. You do not act desperate, begging for attention.

You simply be your best possible and most attractive self and calmly put that out into the universe … and wait.

In the “new age” movement, the work of Abraham Hicks and the blockbuster book: “The Secret” talk about this law of attraction in terms of thoughts. “What you feel or think is what you will attract.”

A few weeks ago, I was thinking of the exact client I wanted. This client was at an event I was present at but I missed the chance to introduce myself to them. The next day, they emailed me and sought me out. As Depak Chopra says: “There are no coincidences.” I drew that client to me. They pursued me.

Of course, I did not just “think” of this client — I had already spent my lifetime building the skills and relationships for the job. Months in advance I redesigned my website, my business cards, the description on my Facebook profile, the way I dressed in public, the photos I chose to show on my page. I was ready when they called.

On the Internet, in our marketing, we do not “feel,” we write.

What and who do you want to attract?

Who is your dream customer, your dream client?

You don’t ask for a job. They “get” to hire you … if they’re lucky!

You don’t beg for the customer to buy. They “get” to buy your product if they’re ready for it.

What are they searching for? What is their wildest fantasy? What solves their problems?

What does that person look like? Who are their relationships? Where do they hang out?

Tailor your communication. Be exactly that.

In your face to face communications, in your marketing, your website, your Facebook posts, use the “key words” and phrases, the clothes, the colors, the “search terms” and emotional cues, the graphics, images and colors that attract customers, clients and opportunities to you.

Let me know how this is working for you.

Is your LinkedIn photo stuck in the Nineties?

Is your LinkedIn profile embarrassing?

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Here are some ridiculous profiles and titles of people who did not make the cut and get to be one of my 2,200 connections on LinkedIn:

Anyone who still hasn’t paid me yet.

Your title and every word in your profile is written in lower case.

Passport photo or driver’s license photo used as your LinkedIn profile photo. (No kidding.)

Scary, mug shot-style LinkedIn photo. (Against a wall, all black and white.)

Anyone not wearing a shirt.  One woman PR consultant in my network is wearing a bikini top in her LinkedIn photo Seriously. Bikini top? Unless you’re a character on Baywatch, swimwear is not appropriate for business.

Someone who says she is an “orgasmic liaison”.

No photo. No description of what you do. (Who is this mysterious character with no shared connections? Why are you on LinkedIn?  Why do you want to be my connection? How did you find me? Why? I’m scared. Help…)

Someone who calls themselves a “bliss expert.”  (Maybe they’re connected to the “orgasmic liaison” but not me.)

Real estate agents. (Unless they are my boyfriend.)

Executive recruiters who are going to pelt me with requests for access to software developers. (Go away.)

Substitute teachers.  (I don’t think in a million years a substitute teacher is ever going to hire me.)

A guy in a Scottish tam o’ shanter and ruffled shirt. (On LinkedIn? Are you lost?)

Insurance agents. (Yikes. Go away. I already have insurance.)

Anyone who is a “Career and Life Coach.” Unless you teach football, you’re not a coach around here.

Anyone who is an “Executive Coach.” Unless you coached Bill Gates, you’re not an executive coach in Silicon Valley.

Anyone with both the words “coach” and “cannabis” in their title.  (I said “green business.” Not that kind.)

People who sell anything multi-level. Especially water filter distributors. (Oh, that’s impressive.)

Anything pyramid schemey. Especially if it involves something you blend in a smoothie.

Anyone who is a “meditator” in their profile title. (Or was that “Mediator” spelled wrong?)

Your NAME IS IN ALL CAPS you run a “HEALING MASSAGE SERVICE” and you live in another country.

Anyone with a creepy dark photo with a crooked smile.

Men who are not wearing shirts.

Men wearing Hawaiian shirts and a baseball hat that obscures their eyes. (This isn’t a virtual barbecue — it’s a virtual business cocktail party.)

Spells CEOs “ceo’s.” (Yeah, right. I’ll bet you are an “executive coach” too.)

Your LinkedIn photo is kind of dusty and it was taken at Burning Man.  (Ok if you are Larry Harvey, a founder of Burning Man.) All others, “delete.”)

People who call themselves a “CEO” but run a home-based MLM business and have nobody reporting to them but their cat.

8 free (or cheap) ways to give your web branding a new look for the New Year

Start the new year with a fresh new look for your personal brand.

This down time between Christmas and the first week of the New Year is a perfect opportunity to give your personal branding a lift and start the New Year with a fresh image.

Here are eight ways you can use free templates and other inexpensive tools available on the web to give your business or personal brand a lift.

1. Reinvent your name for the new year.

Is your business name unique–or is it lost in the crowd? Consider finding a new name for your business and a unique URL — an identifier that people type into the browser to find your website. Do a little research on  Go Daddy or directly from WordPress, and see if your business name (or your personal name, or the name of your book) is available. If your name is generic, hard to remember or hard to spell, change it today before you start your branding campaign.

 

Check for copyright availability too before you buy your URL. If your business name is no longer available in Facebook, Twitter or Go Daddy, consider modifying or changing it today to something unique before you move on to step 2.
If you aren’t the first whatever that shows up in Google, you’ll need to pay dearly for that in advertising. Names are free. Ads are expensive. Save money by choosing a unique name before you start your web marketing campaign.

2. Start a blog with a free WordPress theme.

Do you have a blog yet? Or do you have an old website that desperately needs an update? A blog is the hub and the center of the wheel of your integrated web marketing strategy, so start with it first.

I recommend a blog, not a Website, because blogs are filled with words, and Google uses words to search for you. In short, blogs, which are filled with Tags and Categories and Words are instantly Search Engine Optimized.

Moving from an old static website to a new WordPress blog (or adding a blog as a link on your old static site) will generate an instant surge in traffic and customers in the New Year.

With one click and you can move your old, outdated WordPress site into a new theme and try it out.  Just click “theme options” in your Dashboard to try on a new look — or spend a little to get your site hosted and you’ll be able to choose from thousands of free templates for your site.
Choose a template that offers a “custom-background” and “custom-header” and custom colors, such as this Elegant Grunge template I used for Visibility Shift.
Your background is important and spend enough time to really find one that strikes you. I like to start with a clean, white, simple zen-like template as a blank canvas and add bling from there:
3. Add a new free custom  background to your theme.

You can find a free wallpaper online to use as your background, or buy stock art or better yet, use your own photo that you have rights to.  There are thousands of free backgrounds available, here’s just one site to check out:
4. Create a new custom banner for your page:

Some WordPress sites enable you to drop in a photo, crop it and add text to create a custom banner or header. I used a photo by my brother in law, Adrian Fernandez, (of a galaxy) for this blog, Visibility Shift. Prior to that, I used a free image of Times Square that matched the wallpaper in my Twitter page.
Here is just one of many sites that let you create free banners without needing to know Photoshop:
You can also find sites that offer cute, free custom backgrounds for Blogger, like this one I used for the blog, Shopping for Love:
5. Add free plug ins or custom fonts to your blog.

If you are hosted, you can use a wealth of free Plug Ins to jazz up your blog. If your site is WordPress hosted, you can use Typekit for two free fonts. (Two is the max you should use anyway for clean design.)
Unique fonts will really make your site stand out. I used two very distinctive Typekit fonts in the Laughing Heart site and the colors of pink, lavender and purple for a playful look that suits this husband-wife spiritual comedy team.
The most important plug in is a Share This button that will encourage readers to virally share your content via email, Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, Digg, etc.
6. Start a free newsletter.

Your newsletter should use a similar color scheme, template, banner, background, photograph and font as the rest of your branding. My branding designer recommends the free My Newsletter Builder for a newsletter. Most of my friends and clients use Constant Contact. A new service, My Emma, is more stylish.
Make sure you add all of your social networking pages into the signature line in your newsletter.
While you’re at it, update your email list and type in or scan the contacts from all those business cards you gathered in 2010. When you build social media pages, you can use that email list to invite customers and contacts to join your pages.
You can manage your email list for free in a free email program like Fastmail or Gmail.
7. Update (or start) your Facebook Fan Page, Twitter page, Linked In profile and Yelp page.

If you don’t have a social media presence yet, the winter break is a great, quiet time to hunker down and do the tedious, time consuming work it takes to get your pages built and invite all of your contacts into them.
Again, use the same photo, name, background wall paper or logo, and the same fonts consistently in all of your web and social media pages.
8. Send out a New Year’s holiday greeting with your e-newsletter to announce your new look.
There are tons of free New Year’s wallpapers out there that you can use to spruce up your newsletter, or better yet, commission a portrait of your family, work group or business, or a collection of photos that sum up the highlights of 2010.  Use your newsletter to announce your new website and Social Media pages to your friends, family, business contacts and customers and start the New Year with a fresh look for 2011.