Do you take responsibility?

I feel there is a need to write this blog BUT I know that some may be offended by what I have to say.

The day the internet was created, we were ALL opening up ourselves to releasing any privacy we thought we could keep.  There is much scandal going on right now with the world of Facebook in regards to the Russians having a hand in the Trump election and people are upset that Facebook would have it set up that people could get access to our information.

HERE IS THE REALITY!!  We ALL need to take some responsibility for this as well.  WE all need to understand that when you sign up for any social media platforms, when we play games, when we do quizzes, when we use Google (this is just a very small portion of what I am talking about, this goes so much bigger), WE open ourselves up to releasing our information.

YES, you need to read the terms, the policies!  YES, you need to check in the background settings of Apps and see what you have allowed them to take from you!  YES, you need to take responsibility for what YOU are doing in the internet world.

Did you know that if you use Google Maps on your phone, you accept the option for them to access your location?  Once you have done this, did you know that if you go to Google Maps on the computer, you will see a list of all the places you have visited?  Most people don’t realize this BUT you have to take the responsibility and find out.  For me, I do Google Reviews, so I have my location turned on BUT I do this for more visibility to my Google Account for my business.

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For the games and quizzes you do on Facebook, do you check the information that you are releasing to that specific App?

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When you get a Friend request on Facebook, are you taking the time to go through their profile and determine if it is a real person or a fake account?

Have you gone through your privacy settings on each of your Social Media platforms and made sure to set it up for what works for you?  P.S.  Get my FREE Privacy Settings for Facebook HERE

Do you believe those contests that are giving away something that is too good to be true?  Entering those contests are opening you up to hackers, spyware, releasing of your information to a 3rd party.

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Are you falling for the “click bait” type posts that shock you when you see the headline?  Read this article to understand fake news, HERE.

I think you are getting my message here.  Even though platforms, like Facebook, need to take responsibility for the information they are gathering about us, WE also need to take ownership.  WE need to check everything, read all the terms, understand what information we are releasing.

For me, personally, I am aware of what I am releasing and accept it.  I know that there are elements that are not in my control BUT that is a risk I have to take if I choose to use the internet, to turn on my locations, to use platforms like Facebook.  I accept that I have opened myself up to a world that I ultimately can’t control BUT use because I choose to use it.

How are you “creating your presence”?

My tagline is “Creating your Presence” and what this means is that YOU need to be seen on Social Media, YOU need to sell YOU!

When we have made the decision to start using Social Media to build our business, there are many aspects that you need to consider:

  • How do I want to be seen?
  • How do I want my business to be seen?
  • What are my values?
  • Who am I?
  • Who are my potential clients?
  • Which Social Media platforms are they using?
  • What is my marketing strategy?
  • What message am I sending?

You need to take the time and answer these questions, in great detail, so that you can determine which Social Media sites you are going to focus on, what is the content you will be providing and how much time do you need to dedicate to it.

The mistake that many people make is that they believe they need to be working ALL Social Media sites and it is leading to being very time consuming.  Which in turn, causes people to give up or not get the growth they expected.

I encourage you to find your primary and secondary Social Media sites to focus on (based on where your target market is sitting) and make a marketing plan for both based on the above questions you answered.  From there, you need to schedule time on your calendar to focus on these platforms DAILY.  You can’t build a presence, you can’t build a business, without committing to it every single day.  Popping in and out will not help you to reach the goals you have set out to obtain.  It is a HUGE commitment and don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t.

There are more elements that need to be considered when building your online presence.  You need to look at blogging, free opt-ins, networking on and off the computer, doing speaking engagements.  We live in a very competitive online world and you have to stand out above the rest.  This is why it is important to understand the value of selling yourself.  People buy/support because of the like/know/trust factor.  It is NOT going to happen overnight, I wish I could tell you that, BUT the reality is that it will take time, lots of time, to build your presence and see a return in your hard work.

When thinking about your marketing plan, I want you to go beyond your business.  I want you to look at the other elements that are available on these platforms and take advantage of them.  Look at groups, look at your personal profiles, how can you use them to create your presence?  Schedule the time needed to focus on the other elements that are available to you and go a step beyond in creating your presence.

When you commit the time to creating your presence, you will see a growth in your business BUT it takes time, don’t expect it to happen overnight and don’t fall into the trap of the “get rich quick schemes”.

Go out there and “sell you”!

 

Finding Facebook Groups

As we all prepare for the upcoming Facebook changes and knowing we need to focus on groups, I thought this would be a good article to write to guide you.

Moving forward, Groups will become a HUGE part of your Facebook marketing plan.  You will need to find at least 5 groups that you will make part of your daily routine to go into and network (these are groups where the members actually talk to each, where they share ideas, ask questions, NOT just posting Business posts).  You will also need additional groups that you can utilize to get your “shared” Business Page posts into, in order to keep your reach growing and not decreasing because of the new changes.

To find groups:

  • FIRST you want to make a list of all the KEY words that you want to use to find groups
    • Where do you want to do business in, which:
      • Cities (search by specific City)
      • Provinces (search by specific Province)
      • Worldwide
    • What are the key words for your target market?
      • Moms
      • Brides
      • Men
      • Cooking
      • Hobbies
      • Business Owners
      • Travel
      • Music
      • Technology
    • Are you looking for?
      • Communities
      • Buy and Sell Groups
      • Residence

Once you have your very detailed list, you can start searching Facebook to see if any of these groups exist.

  1. Type the key word in the Search Bar at the top of Facebook
  2. Hit “enter”, don’t select anything, just hit “enter” once you have typed the key word
  3. The next box that opens, has a variety of tabs listed across the top, click on “Groups”
  4. Then scroll through the list and determine which ones you want to request to join

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Once the Admin of the group has accepted you into the Group, you will receive a notification.

  1. Click on the notification to take you into the Group
  2. READ the “about” section of the group (found down the left hand side) so you understand what the rules are for each group
  3. Add this Group to your list
    • Will this be a group you will network in
    • Will this be a group you will share your business page posts into
  4. Then you will want to make sure to turn off your “notifications” for these groups so that you don’t get bombarded
    • Under the Group cover photo, click on the “notifications” tab and turn off there

Now, start working the groups!!

 

GUEST BLOGGER: How Technology Will Change Digital Marketing In 2018

Digital marketing – pay-per-click, effective landing pages; These are not new anymore. However, as technology develops, it is taking more and more for users to feel engaged with products being advertised. Loading speed and engagement rates are more important than ever with the current consumer base. Below, we review some of the more recent technologies to aid with digital marketing which are gaining popularity, slowly but surely.

  • Video Walls

Featuring a group of monitors on a wall to play a large video advertisement or display several images to form one large cohesive image at once, video walls are the new frontiers of billboard advertising. You can view an example of the video wall in action in Las Vegas, when it was first featured in 2013. While the cost may be sky high as it is still a relatively new technology, you can be sure that your advertisement will be more attention-grabbing than any other advertising methods you have seen in your entire lifetime. By placing these video walls in a strategic high-traffic location and drawing users to engage with your display in high-end video walls, you are advertising your products with a very high engagement rate, welcoming more visitors to your brand and product as this new technology in action gets shared on social media worldwide.

  • Chatbot Instant Replies

Can’t be replying messages all the time? Facebook has an instant replies feature which allows you to set up some simple pre-set replies to help you answer your potential clients’ frequently asked questions. You can use this feature to set a welcome greeting, and inform them that their inquiries have been received. The chat bots can also be programmed to help you engage with your clients without actually doing so – one of the best examples would be the chatbot set up by RedBull. All you have to do to try this feature is to go to their Facebook page and click message. The bot has been programmed to provide you with their newest events and news so that you feel more connected to their products.

  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

With the majority of business users being on mobile nowadays instead using their personal computers these days, loading time becomes extremely important to market your products digitally. A 3-second delay can cause up to 60% of users abandoning the page, which is where these AMPs come in. By converting your current business website to an AMP, you will be accelerating the loading speed of your page while still maintaining the aesthetic values and high performance that your website has be it for e-commerce, product pages, date-booking or just a simple blog. An e-commerce site built on this platform will help you to market your products more efficiently while increasing your customer base!

There is still plenty of new technology on the way in 2018, and we can’t wait to unmask them all. While AMPs, as an example, have already been used by several high-ranking websites such as Huffington Post and the chatbot instant replies utilized by various big businesses nowadays, there are still space for improvement for these features and they are continuously adding more and more benefits to help you market your products effectively. Meanwhile, just hang on to these three features and see if you can find a way to integrate them into your business!

Mia Clarke is part of the content and community team at Userful.com, experts in all things video wall and display solutions. When Mia is not spreading the word about video walls she is often found discovering the great outdoors, walking or cycling.

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GUEST BLOGGER: Finding the work/life balance when starting a business

Creating a business from scratch is not easy. It takes a lot of drive, goal-setting and most importantly: TIME. When you’re seeing your business grow from the ground up, it makes you want to say yes to everything. Soon, however, all the hours in the day disappear, and you lose precious family time or even just personal leisure time.

At first, it might feel like you have unlimited stores of energy that you can dedicate to your business (the excitement is real!) but if you’re not careful, too much work will start to wear on you.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind while creating a work/life balance:

  1. Know When The Work Day is Over

We are so connected to our devices! If you’re starting a new business, it’s seems natural to be your own 24-hour network. But shutting things off for the night is essential. In order to be more productive in the future, it’s best to set a time where you switch off business and focus on winding down. Not only will this help you sleep better, it will give you an opportunity to build discipline in finding the work/life balance we all crave.

  1. What are Your Time-Wasters?

What do you do in the day that is productive towards your goals? It can be little things, like posting a brand-relevant message on Facebook, or sending out a few introductory emails. Social media is PIVOTAL for business (I know a thing or two about that…), but are you using it for too much leisure time? How much time do you spend scrolling down your Facebook feed during your precious “working hours”? Sometimes old habits die hard!

We all need to re-evaluate what is important in order to make sure our time is used to grow the business and spend quality time with people we love.

  1. Social Self Care is Very Important

Speaking of people we love: when you’re running a business, you often forget to take care of yourself! Simple things like diet and exercise are obvious – but what about social health? Don’t abandon your friends! Try your best to make plans and stick to them. It will help you stop focusing on work 24/7, and actually leave your office every now and then. Friends can be great supporters of your vision, by the way, and that support comes from building strong bonds.

  1. Make Small Achievable Steps

A brand new business is like having a new baby! You have to nurture it and give it plenty of attention. But you can’t do everything all at once and expect it to run smoothly. Are you spending 12 hours a day glued to the screen when you’re only aiming for 4? Quitting cold turkey will backfire. Try weaning yourself off, hour by hour, until you find the right workflow that fits for your blossoming company. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Work smarter, not harder.” Keep an eye out for efficient solutions that help you get your business off the ground without taking up all your time to do it.

There isn’t a formula for the perfect work/life balance. Everyone has different lifestyles, workflows and circumstances that create their own unique challenges. However, once you find that golden balance that works for you, your new business and your home life will thrive!

This is a guest post by Josh Elkin, founder of Best Coast Marketing a marketing agency that helps increase our clients’ traffic through organic link building. Josh enjoys writing about entrepreneurship, marketing, productivity and self-improvement.

Connect via email:  josh@bestcoastmarketing.com

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Safety for your children

The world of Social Media is only going to get bigger and when it comes to our children, we need to take some extra precautions on how they are using these different sites.

I know many parents don’t even realize their children are using different sites and were not involved when their accounts were being set up.  I believe, as parents, we need to make sure that our children are protected BUT also help to make their privacy settings safe for them.

I am going to focus on Facebook BUT I want you to take the same concept for any other Social Media sites your child is using.  I will make some additional points, further down, in regards to other sites.

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P.S.  My suggestions are based on the computer version of Facebook, not the App, however, these changes will affect the App version.

The great thing about Facebook, is they do have privacy settings that you can go through with your children and set them properly.  I find the best way to understand what is being seen by the public is to view our profiles in that same environment.

  1. Go to your personal profile/timeline
  2. Click on the 3 dots just under the cover photo
  3. Choose the option “view as”
  4. This view will show you how your profile is shown in the public eye
  5. You want to go through/scroll and determine what needs to be fixed in regards to what you do NOT want the public to see

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Your next step will be to go through all the “settings” that Facebook has put into place for.  When you are your “home” tab, click the drop down arrow and go to “settings”.  Take the time to go through each tab and read to see what the option is and determine how you want it applied to your account.

Another KEY point to take note of, is that when new profile pictures are uploaded, they are automatically set to “public” therefore, you need to make sure to change that privacy to “friends” after you have uploaded it.  The reason being, is that when you change that picture again, the old ones will remain public and available for people to steal (this can lead to fake profiles).

If you find that when you are viewing your profile in the public view and there are elements you are not sure how to fix, just send me a message and I will help you.

I would also like to encourage you to remind your children that if they receive a friend request from someone they don’t know (even if it is a person of the same age or close to), to have you check that person’s profile before accepting.  Use your judgment on what you see on that profile, click on the different tabs you see visible, scroll through their timeline, and go with your gut.

Other Social Media sites:

  • Instagram and Twitter have privacy settings available to you, so you can take the steps and go through these with your children and make sure they are set up properly
  • The majority of the kids are using Snapchat, so I found this great article that can teach you about the privacy side of things.  CLICK HERE!

It is so IMPORTANT that we make sure our children are safe as this world is only going to get bigger.  Take the extra time to go through all the sites they are using and educate yourself on the security side of things.  There are tons of articles available in Google that can help you, embrace them.

 

 

 

How do you keep growing?

Okay, so here is the deal, I have been working my Facebook business for almost 5 years now (however, have been working Facebook to build for about 10 years now) and can happily say that I have a really great following of people who are truly interested in what I have to offer.

So how did I do this?  Well, it was all about providing value to my audience.  Providing tips that can help them work Facebook, ideas for thinking outside the box, my personality (I like that one the best lol) and just being “real”.

Most of you are probably just starting out using Social Media and I want you to know that it does get easier to grow as you work it.  It won’t happen overnight (YES, I know there are a TON of people out there that can sell you programs that will INSTANTLY grow your business, but I have my doubts on that).  The reality is that it takes time BUT you have to give more than just what you are posting on Social Media.

Over the last 5 years, I have created my website, created FREE downloads/opt-ins, created new packages, started blogging, doing speaker engagements, being a guest writer, invested in a Mastermind program, joined networking groups…..get where I am going with this?  You can’t just rely on Social Media to build your business to the level you ultimately want to build.

If you are looking to just make some extra money each month, then Social Media can work for you and you may not have to go the extra mile BUT if you are looking for so much more, you really have to think about what else you can offer.

As I have continued to grow, I realized that I offer a TON of free elements and of course my online training but didn’t really have a package that provided value at a lower price.  Soooooo, after talking to a few people, I worked on a new package that focuses on marketing in the world of Facebook.  I have to admit, I am pretty excited about this package as it is set at a very reasonable price that will help ALL small business owners to market their business.  It has them thinking differently about how they are going to market themselves and their business within personal profiles/timelines, groups and business page.  (Watch my Facebook Business Page for more).

So my message to you here, is to always think about how you are going to continue to grow, don’t just rely on one source to grow your business.  You need to layer it, keep adding more value on top of each layer YET have them all tie in together.