Tag Archives: social media

Twitter: Try This, If You’ve Been On Twitter For a While

Discover your first tweet

Oh, the embarrassment… my first tweet

If you’ve been on Twitter for a while, you’ve forgotten your first tweet. Check out Discover Your First Tweet…. In April of 2007, Dreamhost was down, it seems. (Face palm.) On the other hand, that’s what I always do when something’s not working right — I check Twitter to see if others are sharing the misery.

What was YOUR first tweet?

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Creative Marketing on a Budget: 3 Tips You Can Use Today

Creative Marketing on a Budget: 3 Tips You Can Use Today

Looking for creative marketing on a budget ideas? There’s never been a better time for do-it-yourself marketing. Social media helps you to tell your story (see tip 3, to choose your story). You can make even contact with reporters at a click, so don’t worry that you’re without a marketing budget. You can more than compensate.

Let’s look at three tips you can use today.

1. Leverage Social Networking Sites Like Pinterest.

Used well, social media wins attention. Blood, sweat, and tears: How we got from 0 to 500K downloads on a budget reports:

We launched a week before demo day and were able to generate a good media buzz (I’ll get more specific later) by piggybacking Pinterest and reach a go-to market that was highly relevant for us at the time.

If you’ve got images to tell your story, Pinterest is for you. In Pinterest Traffic: 3 FAST Tricks You Can Use Today, I suggested:

If you’re used to doing outreach for links, you know how to approach people. Firstly, create some boards, with great images. Pay attention to your pin’s descriptions, and add hashtags. Treat optimizing your boards and pins just as you would any other search engine optimization (SEO) project.

You may start out without an audience, but Pinterest is immensely social, so consider who on Pinterest is attracting your audience, and get in touch with them. Be aware that it’s quid pro quo – do unto others, if you expect them to help you.

Tip: check out my Pinterest program; although it’s nominally for writers, it’s powerful for all small business people.

2. Reach Out: Get Press Any Way You Can.

What would a story in the New York Times do for you? Or a story in your local paper, or a magazine, or on a high-traffic website your audience visits?

10 Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget reports:

Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out www.helpareporter.com. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resources. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too.

Reporters are in the story business. Reporters desperately want and need great stories. (More on your story in a moment.) Create an elevator pitch for your business, product or service, and ensure it’s newsworthy.

Which brings us to…

3. You’re a Story: Choose “Rags to Riches”, or Anything Memorable.

Remember Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe? McDonald’s special sauce? Did Victor Kiam really like Remington shavers so much that he bought the company?

All three companies leveraged wonderful stories. The truth or otherwise of the stories doesn’t matter. What counts is that your story is memorable. Back in the day, when I was a baby novelist, Jacqueline Susann was a best-selling author. She maintained that she wrote each draft of a novel on different colored paper. Since her books were regarded as trashy, the idea was, trash or not, she worked hard. Maybe Ms Susann really did use different colors for her drafts. Whatever, it was a great story.

The founders of Apple and Google started their companies in a garage. As a marketing trope, rags to riches never gets old.

What’s your story? Your story doesn’t need to be related directly to whatever you’re promoting. The Taco Bell chihuahua didn’t have much to do with fast food. If you’ve got a photogenic pet, like Grumpy Cat, you’ve got it made. Leverage your cutie in your marketing materials.

So there you have it. Think about how you can use these “creative marketing on a budget” ideas to get attention for you next promotion. Start by finding something that’s memorable, then leverage social media and get attention. Marketing in 2014 has less to do with your budget than your creativity.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

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Pinterest Traffic: 3 FAST Tricks You Can Use Today

Pinterest Traffic: 3 FAST Tricks You Can Use Today

Want some Pinterest traffic? Some of my clients still don’t believe that they can get useful traffic from Pinterest. While it’s true that Pinterest won’t send you masses of traffic when your account is new, the traffic you do get pays off. It’s engaged, and responsive – conversion rates for Pinterest are 50 per cent higher than for other sources.

Let’s look at some FAST tricks which will increase your Pinterest traffic quickly.

By the way, we’ve just released a new program which helps you to make the most of Pinterest – Pinterest for Writers: Creative Strategies To Increase Your Writing Income FAST. It’s aimed at writers, but the information works for any small business.

1. Find and Reach Out to Influencers in Your Niche.

If you’re used to doing outreach for links, you know how to approach people. Firstly, create some boards, with great images. Pay attention to your pin’s descriptions, and add hashtags. Treat optimizing your boards and pins just as you would any other search engine optimization (SEO) project.

Then, reach out to other pinners in your niche – pinners who are targeting an audience which is similar to yours. Make a list of these pinners, and follow their boards. Comment on their pins, and repin them. Contact your targets, asking them to pin one of your pins. At this stage, don’t be greedy. Ask for a single pin, but don’t stop there. Aim to form a relationship. Pinterest is a social media network… get social.

Mention your pinning colleagues in pins you post. “Mentioning” on Pinterest is just like mentioning on Twitter. Make sure you’re following at least one of their boards, then use the “@” symbol, and the pinner’s user name. They’ll be notified of your mention.

You’ll find other Pinterest tips and tricks here.

2. Create Attention-Grabbing, Share-Worthy Images.

Images are at the heart of Pinterest. Here’s an excellent post on how to create share-worthy images. It gives some great advice:

Social media expert Kim Garst matches audience expectations with useful tips by regularly posting images with social media advice and tagging them with #biztip.

Her community shares these problem-solving tips like wildfire, which results in an exceptionally high organic engagement rate on Facebook.

Initially, working with images will feel clumsy and unnatural. Have fun with it; do your best. You may not be a designer, but you have innate creativity. You don’t need a Photoshop subscription. I use Picmonkey and Canva more often than I use Photoshop.

3. Share Your Pinterest Presence: Let Everyone Know You’re on Pinterest.

It’s easy to forget this – I do! Let people know you’re on Pinterest. Add Pinterest widgets to your website, and promote your boards and pins on other social media.

Did you know that you can embed pins? Embed your boards and pins onto your website and blog. The more people who know you’re on Pinterest, the more people will find your boards, and the more followers you’ll get. More followers means more Pinterest traffic, and as we’ve said, Pinterest traffic converts.

So, there you have it: three FAST and easy tricks you can use today to get Pinterest traffic.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Book Marketing: 5 Easy Ways to Blog Your Book

book marketing

You’ve written a book. Now it’s time for some simple book marketing magic. Why not blog your book? Not only is blogging a free promotional method, it’s also a way of building your readership for your next book.

I started my first blog a decade and a half ago, and have always used blogs for book marketing. Indeed, looking back, I’ve rarely bothered with other promotional methods. To me, blogs are instant publishing. I love the idea that I can type something, and within minutes, potentially millions of people could read my words.

Blogs’ are the lazy person’s book marketing. My thrill comes from writing. Once a book’s done, I tend to lose interest. Blogging’s writing, so it keeps me interested in a book.

Hate Writing? Book Marketing With Blogs Isn’t for You

You can create video and audio blog posts if you hate writing, but those options involve writing too, so if you’re all written-out once you’ve completed your book, blogging isn’t the right promotional method for you.

Assuming however that while writing may not be the joy of your life, you don’t actively hate it, let’s look at five easy ways to blog your book.

1. Start Early. Blog While You’re Writing Your Book.

Don’t wait until your book’s done before you create a blog. You’re missing out on creating interest before your book’s publication. Build your mailing list now. (More on your mailing list shortly.)

Tell your readers about your upcoming book; as much as you’re comfortable revealing.

2. Blog for Your Readers: What Do They Care About?

You want to market your book. However, droning on and on about your book won’t win you much of a readership. Moreover, you’re using energy which needs to go into your book.

You’re blogging for your book’s audience. Who are they? What do they care about? Think about your ideal reader, and write for him, or her.

Let’s say you’re writing a romance novel. Romance readers come from all walks of life. You’ve got a million and one things you could blog about, from the area in which your book is set, to recipes. Blog about your interests. Review others’ books in the same genre, or any book you find fascinating. Make it plain you’re a romance novelist, and share your book’s publication date.

The author of the Historical Fiction Research blog shares fascinating historical snippets with readers.

Jane Austen’s World is a wonderful blog about all things Jane. I became aware of the blog via the blog’s Pinterest boards. With 173 boards, over 62,000 pins, and over 48,000 followers, the blog and Pinterest work brilliantly together.

pinterest

Take a tip from Jane Austen’s World; if you don’t already have a Pinterest account, create one. Then pin, pin, pin… and pin some more.

3. Consider WIIFM – “What’s in It for Me?”

Millions of blog posts are published each day. Blogging’s fine, as a hobby. However, you’re using a blog for book marketing, so you need to be aware not only of your book’s potential readers, but also what might turn them into book buyers.

Consider what’s in it for them. “WIIFM” – what’s in it for me? is a copywriter’s acronym; people read what they read for a reason. Give them a reason. Think about what appeals to your readers.

You can take cues from other authors’ blogs, but don’t fall into the “me too” trap. Be authentic. Write what your perceive your readers care about, as long as you care about it too.

Consider popular books such as the “50 Shades” trilogy. The trilogy’s made millions for its author. It started out as fan fiction for the Twilight books, and was hugely popular. Twilight fans wanted more, and EL James gave it to them.

I can’t speak to either the 50 Shades or Twilight series, since I haven’t read them. However, the WIIFM aspect intrigues me. Probably unconsciously, both Stephenie Meyer and EL James tapped into a deep and profitable vein in public consciousness.

4. Create a Mailing List: It’s the Reason You Blog.

Someone comes to your blog, reads a post, and clicks away. With so much content online, the chance that he or she will return are slim. You can increase the likelihood that someone will return to your blog by creating a mailing list. Your mailing list is key to building your readership. Make creating a list a priority.

5. Forget “Musts.” Do What You Like. It’s Your Book, and Your Blog.

Few things infuriate me more than editors, or literary agents, or anyone else, telling an author how to blog. It’s your blog; do what you like. Over the years, I’ve had many people telling me how I should blog. I’ve thanked them kindly, and gone my own way.

Up until 2005, selling anything on a blog was frowned on. Anyone bringing crass commercialism into blogging was not only a horrible blogger, their morals were suspect too.

Eventually, I got a wry chuckle out of the “you can’t do that!” anti-commercialism crowd. After 2005, they gave in, and jumped into making money from their blogs. Mind you, I was tempted to ask them what had happened to their “pure blogging” stance, but I resisted the temptation.

Be you. It’s your book, and your blog. There are no rules. Moreover, just because something works today, doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow. Please understand, I’m not talking about fundamentals like book marketing and blogging, they work. I’m talking about tricks and strategies which come and go.

Amazon’s KDP Select is an example. It works for many authors, but not as the tsunami of cash it once was, for some authors. “Free” works today, as it always will. But don’t base your book marketing on one trick, like “free” and expect it to work forever. Write the best book you can. Use KDP Select, or Google Play, or whatever, AND build a real blog. Put your heart into your blog, as you put it into your book, and book marketing via blogging will work for you.

Want to write and sell ebooks?

8 hour ebooks

 

This 2nd Edition of our bestselling ebook program is completely revised and updated with new material – more insights and fresh strategies so that you can start writing and selling ebooks FAST.

, and on Twitter: @angee

Social Media Outrage Over Penalty Rates Rant

Social Media Outrage Over Penalty Rates Rant

Want to go viral on social media? The Bombay Bicycle Club restaurant in Adelaide shows you how it’s done. But please don’t try this in your own business.

The restaurant created a faux menu showing what prices its menu items would be if they were multiplied 2.75 times. Why, you ask? Because of the penalty rates which the restaurant pays its staff on public holidays.

Adelaide pub Bombay Bicycle Club apologizes for calling people ‘idiots’ on Facebook after staff penalties rant reports:

“We will have to pay our staff 2.75 times the base rate for public holidays. This is how the prices on our bar menu would look using that formula”, the sign read.

All well and good. You can imagine the restaurant’s patrons glancing at the sign as they walked past it. Unfortunately, the restaurant posted an image of the sign on its Facebook page. As you would, right? (Snark.)

The image went viral. Lots of people had opinions, and they posted them on Facebook and Twitter. They also punished the restaurant with one-star reviews.

Then this post appeared on the restaurant’s Facebook page:

The BBC ownership would like to apologize for our sign and Facebook post. We regret the wording. There was no intention to offend anyone.

Overly clever PR? No

When I first heard this story, I thought that a restaurant patron had snapped a photo of the faux menu and uploaded it to Facebook. Not so. Apparently the restaurant posted the image. I couldn’t find it, they must have deleted it.

Then I wondered whether this was a clever PR trick. Upload a photo, get lots of comments and links. That though died when the Facebook timeline reveals that the restaurant tried to justify its attitude on penalty rates… on Facebook.

Social media can be savage; I read some of the Facebook and Twitter responses. Harsh punishment. Not the image the restaurant wants to show.

, and on Twitter: @angee

Social Media Marketing With Images: Easy, Fun and FREE

Social Media Marketing With Images

Canva

Here we are: it’s a brand new year. You’ve decided to get up to speed on social media marketing, and you’ve wondered: WHERE do marketers get their images? Gorgeous photos, clever infographics, smart quote images… How do they do it?

Easy. They make images part of their social media strategies, because as the truism says, an image is worth a thousand words – and sometimes more. Images are evocative. They hint, and suggest.

You don’t need to be an ace photographer, or a designer, to use images in your social media marketing. You can create many images yourself. Train yourself to use your cell phone camera – every image you take yourself is free.

Then make the most of your images with some savvy image editing. No, you don’t need Photoshop. I listed some wonderful free image editing tools in this article.

Canva’s one of my favorite free image tools:

Canva is a new app, and it goes beyond simple image editing. Its claim is that it can “make design simple for anyone.” To that end, the app is stuffed with thousands of wonderful design elements, including stock photographs, layouts, and fonts.

Many of these elements are free. You’ll pay a minimal fee for others, but far less than you’d pay for an image from a stock photo website. Of course, you can use your own images, also. With the ease of Canva, you can create a birthday card, business card, or blog image in seconds.

It took me around two minutes to create the image at the top of this post. I created it at 600 x 900 pixels, which is an excellent size for Pinterest and Google+. Canva’s got a lot of presets for images, including images for Facebook and other social media sites. It’s just as easy to create your own custom sizes, just type them in.

I’ve been using Canva for several months, but haven’t even scratched the surface of this amazing program. Shush… don’t tell anyone, but I’ve even used Canva to create Kindle ebook covers in minutes. Over the holiday period, I used Canva to create fast and easy cards.

Grab attention with your images: some tips

In your marketing, you use images to grab attention.

Here are some tips…

  • Create your images in batches. If you’re in image editing and creation mode, don’t stop at one image. Create several. I like to create at least five.
  • Use call out images for your Calls to Action (CTAs). They’re an easy way to grab attention, directing your website’s visitors to the action you want them to take.
  • Use Skitch, or a similar app to build a swipe file of image ideas for your social media marketing. Watch how brands do it.
  • Use several image editors to get the effects you want – I often use two or three of the free Photoshop alternatives to create a set of images.

Social media marketing is essential for your business. If you’re just getting started, you’ll love the results you get from using lots of images in your campaigns.

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, and on Twitter: @angee

Marketing Strategies For 2014: Tearless and Fearless (4 Tips)

marketingstrategy2014

Wondering about your marketing strategies for 2014? Many small businesses earnestly create marketing plans, but our strategies last as long as New Year’s resolutions.

Invariably, Murphy’s Law applies. We want to try the latest big new thing (content marketing, perhaps) but whatever we try turns out to be more complicated than we expect. Or it needs more resources that we have. So we pull back and focus whatever’s familiar, even if it’s expensive, and no longer works as well as it once did.

Let’s look at four tearless and fearless marketing strategies. Tearless because they’re free. They just take time. Fearless because they’re easy.

1. Do more of whatever worked for you in 2013.

What worked for you in 2013? If you’ve got an ad that’s been running in your local paper for three years, keep it up. Your customers are used to your ad. They expect to see you there. However, consider experimenting a little. Could you run special offerings for new customers?

If you’re using Twitter to manage customer service, keep doing that. Consider creating a Twitter-specific page on your website to welcome new customers, and tell them who you are.

2. Get found online: blog.

Does your business need a blog? Probably, if only because it will:

Improve search engine rankings – The more content you produce, the more likely you will be found by your prospects when they are researching your industry online. As long as you have a content marketing strategy in place, optimizing for specific long-tail keywords, you should see a significant increase in search engines rankings.

Here’s the easiest and laziest way to answer the “blog or not?” question. Check your competitors’ websites. If they’re blogging, your customers will expect you to do the same.

If you hate writing, post images of your products, your customers, or your town. Blog whatever YOU like. Treat your blog and your Twitter account as your customer service department: help your customers, and your prospective customers, and you can’t go wrong.

3. Forget about the “shares.” Think: “conversions”.

If you’re using social media marketing, Search Engine Journal offered this advice in content marketing trends for 2014:

The main thing that we expect to see in the New Year is for marketers to shy away from the cheap, clickbait content that inflates “vanity metrics,” and move more towards creating niche-specific, high quality content that provides value to their followers.

When you provide valuable content, your visitors will stay on your website longer. This gives you more opportunities for conversions (sales.)

4. The Web means Google and that means Google+.

If you’ve ignored Google+, revisit the network.

As Brett Nuckles suggests:

Getting on Google+ will help Google’s Web crawlers index your site, leading to higher placement during a Web search. It will also ensure that customers get the right information when they search for your business on Google.

2013 has been a big year on Google+; the network is becoming more useful by the month. Google’s sinking money into it. Studies suggest that Google+ has over 500 million users, and that almost 70 per cent of marketers want to learn more about the network.

What marketing strategies are you thinking about for 2014? For me, the mix is much as before. I’ll be blogging, and will remain active on social media. Wherever you are in the world, I wish you much success in 2014. :-)

write a book book coaching

, and on Twitter: @angee

Content Marketing Power: 3 Winning Strategies For Content in 2014

Content Marketing Power: 3 Winning Strategies For Content in 2014

Content marketing is the new advertising. Businesses place content on their own websites and share it on social media. They may also commission “sponsored content”, which is posted on high-traffic websites.

Here’s why. A recent study found that the cost of customer acquisition via content was 25 per cent of the cost of acquisition via paid search. In addition, content offers longevity for advertising; paid advertising stops when payment stops.

If you’re already creating content, you know there are challenges. Not only do you need to make time for creation, or pay for it, you also need to manage all your new creative assets. You’re now a publisher, with all that that entails.

Let’s look at how you can succeed with this new form of advertising, without going crazy.

1. Create Short and Long Term Marketing Goals.

Before you create a plan for creation and delivery, consider your overall business goals, as well as both short and long term marketing goals. Your goals form the basis of your strategies for 2014. Those over-arching business goals are the foundation of all your efforts.

You also need goals for the venues you’re using. If you know that most of your customers use Facebook for example, and you create material for Facebook, create goals too. Then track those goals carefully. If you discover that your followers don’t convert, you’ll need to rethink that strategy.

2. Be Aware That Outreach and Distribution is as Important as Your Content.

You’ve created your information assets such as articles, presentations, images, and videos, and they’re wonderful. But how do you get attention? This is a huge challenge. Google’s cycle of updates meant that many websites lost rankings and traffic.

You get attention by doing outreach, to bloggers, news media, and other websites. A clever marketer said recently that “social media is the new SEO”, and that seems accurate. Build up your social media profiles, so that you have an audience which will appreciate your material, and link to you.

Build relationships, so you can alert your network of contacts when you publish new material. Ask them to share your material on their social media sites. Naturally, you’ll do the same for them

Become a Thought Leader: Write a Book.

Write a book? I’m sure you feel that you have enough to do, without going to those lengths. Consider that in 2014, the competition for attention will be even more intense.

A book gives you authority and builds your brand. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in, few of your competitors will write a book, or will even consider it. You’ll stand out from the crowd.

You can write a book, or get a ghostwriter to write it for you, and have paperback copies for sale in bookstores, and online, within weeks of completing it. You can have digital copies in ebook stores with 24 hours of completing your book.

So, there you have it. Three tips which will help you to take the reins of content marketing in 2014 without going crazy.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee

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