My Journey

11 years ago I started out using Facebook to build a direct sales business I was in and couldn’t believe how quickly I could grow that business.  It was kinda crazy to be honest, as I never believed that I could sit on a social site and talk to people and then have them become customers and/or new consultants.  People told me I was wasting my time, I was not doing anything productive.

I was playing in FB and trying to figure out how I could build a business, I mean why couldn’t this be about me finding customers, right?  I started creeping around FB to see what was available to me and noticed that there were all these “fan” pages that were for the different towns and cities.  I thought “why can’t I have a fan page too?”  So, I create a fan page for my direct sales business (A Finishing Touch).  Well, this was great BUT who the heck was going to see my fan page?

As, I continued to creep FB, I came upon the different groups however, these groups were really about bringing different hobbyist together.  Well, of course, I decided to create my own group called “Home Based Businesses”.  I loved the idea that I could bring different business owners together where we could network online.  Now, at this point, I had to laugh to myself because I didn’t know any other business owners (I came from the corporate world, then a stay-at-home mom, so didn’t really know what an entrepreneur was or even running my own business).  So, what I thought I would do is a post on the different City Fan Pages, calling all other business owners to join me in my group.  I created a post and copied and pasted it onto a TON of different Fan Pages and guess what happened?  I went into FB Jail lol, yep, I was considered a spammer, my first real FB lesson.

Fast forward a couple of years and I built a very successful group where we brought 5,000 business owners together to network, to learn, to be inspired (I had different questions and topics I would post every day to get people talking), to promote their business (I have since closed down the group).  It was really awesome and it led me to building a successful direct sales business until the doors of the company were closed 6 years later.

Throughout this journey, one of the things that was happening was the different business owners I was meeting, started reaching out and asking me to teach them what I was doing on FB to build my business.  Funny, as I had never really thought about what I was doing, I was just using my time on FB to talk to people.  I launched my FB business “I was a FB Nobody” 6 years ago.

I started out doing group training sessions, traveling from one city to another, and teaching business owners the importance of privacy, their news feed, their personal timeline, groups and of course, their business page.  I absolutely LOVED doing this, LOVED teaching others, LOVED watching them grow their business.

As I did more and more training sessions (I trained over 600 different business owners), and overwhelmed some owners, I was now receiving requests to manage their business pages for them.  My next step was now adding Business Page Management to my growing Facebook business.

I continued to grow from many different aspects, which allowed me to add more elements to my business, including speaking engagements (one of my all time favourite things to do).  It also taught me about understanding my true value, that I was worth something, that I had knowledge that people wanted to learn from, to absorb, to be mentored.

I decided to rebrand and launch my NEW business as Tammy Hudgin – Creating Your Presence.  This was so perfect as I had been creating my presence since I started working FB way back when.  It is ultimately what I have been teaching other business owners to do for themselves.

These past 6 years have seen me take different steps BUT always steps forward.  I continue to add more to what I can offer based on all my own personal experience, because if I don’t do the work myself, then how can I ask others to do it?

I have learned many things about myself and FINALLY give myself the credit that I deserve.  I have worked very hard to get where I am and can honestly say, that I am truly happy with where my business is.  I am always looking to grow and will continue to do so, because I am not ready to say “sorry I can’t take anymore clients.”

 

Facebook Groups

With the algorithm change to our Facebook Business Page and not getting the reach we once got, it is time for you to think about creating a group that you can build up to a hot market.

There are a couple of ways to get a group started:

  1. Offer a FREE challenge and use the group to run the challenge and then build from there
  2. Reach out to your existing clients and ask them to join your groups for additional information, specials, relationships building
  3. Post on your timeline, business page and other groups, telling people the benefits of joining your group

Within this group, you want to focus on building relationships, getting people talking and upselling yourself.  Make the group interactive with a variety of mini challenges, education, and questions.  Don’t focus on always trying to sell a product/service, otherwise people will leave the group.  It is really about taking this market and continuing to build and educate so that they do purchase additional products/services as well as refer you to their friends.

Facebook has upped the game with groups, so now is the time to take advantage.  They have added a “topics” element that you can use for each post, making it easier for people to find a group of posts around a specific topic.  They have also introduced the option to have 10 announcements pinned to the top of the wall (this can be a very strategic move on your part on what you put into these announcements, so think long and hard about it).  Take advantage of the “welcome” style option that allows you to create a post whenever any new members join the group (this shows the other members that there is growth but also makes the new members feel welcomed).

Groups can be a fantastic compliment to your business page, so take some time and work out a marketing plan on how you are going to develop this group, content, mission, goals and get building those relationships.

P.S.  I do have a FREE download on “The Why and How to for Creating Groups”, so start with that 🙂      Sign Up Here!!

 

Be responsible!!

I have to admit, that I feel frustrated with this whole Facebook issue and how far it has escalated.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not siding with anyone on this, BUT seeing posts in Facebook by the users and those complaining about “how dare Facebook”, has hit a sore spot with me.

Some of you may have read a previous blog I wrote about us having to take some responsibility too and I really can’t stress this enough.  Read BLOG HERE

If you are angry with what has happened, then REMOVE your Facebook account and stop complaining.

  • Did you know that everything you do on the Internet is tracked?
  • Have you read the policies and procedures of every single social site you have joined?
  • Have you checked the settings as to what you are releasing everytime you download an App?

Check these policies out:

LinkedIn

Twitter

SnapChat

Instagram

Google

NameTests

These are just a few examples of sites that most people use and the reality is that very few actually read the Policies.

We gave up our rights to complete privacy and the information that we willing share, the minute we started using the Internet.

Everything you type, every message you send, every game you play, is all tracked.

You have hidden settings on your phone, have you gone through them to see what information you are releasing?

What do you think is happening with every single email you are sending?

Do you believe that the Government isn’t tracking absolutely everything you are doing on the internet?

Your Internet Service Provider, do you not realize they are tracking everything you are doing?

I agree, we shouldn’t have to give up our rights however, the reality is that we don’t have that choice IF we want to continue using the Internet.

IF we want to continue using FREE sites/Apps, then we have to accept the risk, otherwise don’t use it.

This is my only personal thoughts and I acknowledge that I am giving up my rights with everything I choose to do on the Internet and within Apps.  However, I will continue to check settings, policies, so I am aware of the risk I am taking.

 

 

 

Facebook Targeting Ads – News Feed

Have you ever wondered why you see certain Ads in your Facebook News Feed?

Everything you do on Facebook is tracked, even when you “like” a Business Page.  They take your information and place it into categories of “interests”, anything you viewed on Google will show up in your News Feed, all the different information you input into your personal profile “about” section is also targeted.

The GREAT news is that you can clean this up so that certain Ads won’t be targeted towards you!!

Here’s how:

  • From your desktop/laptop, log into your Facebook account (if you are going to do this from your phone App, you will find it under your “account settings” option)
  • Click on the drop down arrow at the top right corner of Facebook
  • Click on the tab “settings”
  • Click on the tab “Ads” down the left
  • Once you are in here, you want to go through each category and remove anything that you do not want them to target you with
    • Your interests (this is the information they gathered based on the pages you have liked)
    • Advertisers you’ve interacted with (specific companies you have interacted with)
    • Your information (this is the information you have put into your “about” section, you can turn off any of them you did not wish to receive Ads based on this criteria)
    • Ad settings (in here you can turn “off” the elements you do not want targeted to you)
    • Hide ad topics (you can choose to hide for a certain time frame or even permanently)

I would encourage you to go through this exercise as you really don’t know what you have made available to those who are doing Sponsored Ads.  When businesses create their Sponsored Ads, they choose a very specific target market and if you have any of the criteria they are targeting, then it will come into your news feed.

Clean it up!

 

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?

apps

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”!

 

GUEST BLOGGER: Do You Want to Get More Bang For Your Buck? Then Repurpose Your Content

We hear it all the time: “Content is King!” We are told we must have the content that reflects our values and expertise if we are to grow our businesses. But how do we find the time?

  • Do you want to spend less time creating new content and more time finding new clients?
  • Are you finding it really hard to find quality time to create quality content?

If you answered yes to either of these questions you may want to consider repurposing your content.

What does it mean to repurpose content? It means taking content you have used for one purpose, example a blog, and using it for another purpose, example course material.

Repurposing content helps you to share your work and expertise with a different audience. Some people prefer the written word, others prefer audio and still others absorb information best when it is on video. So by repurposing work across different mediums you satisfy more people and thus grow your following.

But the content must be evergreen; that is topical for a long period of time. A whitepaper that compares different desk top computers from 5 years ago is not topical. An instruction video that explains how to achieve value from networking is topical; its content will not significantly change over time.

Blogs Are Rich with Content to Repurpose

Blogs are full of valuable content that deserve a second and third life by being repurposed into something else.

Dissect your most recent blog into very small chunks of content to post to your favourite social media platforms with links back to the blog. This will reinforce your expertise to your followers and provide additional traffic to your blogs, without writing any additional content!

A favourite of ours is to write a series of blogs on a topic important to our ideal clients and followers that we later repurpose into a workbook that can be offered as a free value or as material to accompany a paid course. While we don’t have to rewrite the content we can add to the design and visual elements that increase the learnability of the content.

To reach a further audience we have selected some of our favourite blog topics and created very short audios. We call them the 2 Minute Tips; a way to learn something new in a minimum amount of time; very valuable to some people. You can find these on our website under Free Resources; www.yourplanningpartners.com.

Like many business owners we knew we had a book in us! The challenge that kept stopping us was the enormity of the task. Then we had the ‘aha’ moment. We spent time creating the structure and topics for the book and over a year started writing blogs on all the topics. You guessed it. The time came when we had the book content written and now they just needed editing and tweaking. Our book the Balanced Business Wheel was born by repurposing our blog content.

Tools of Your Trade

We work with small business owners to help them grow their business into a strong and sustainable entity. Over the years we have created tools to help our clients achieve this end. For example, we created a process and checklist to help our clients bring the right people onto their team. This tool was repurposed into a number of blogs and I am sure it will be further repurposed into something else.

Take a good hard look at some of the tools you have created for your practice. Which ones could become the subject of a blog or be used in a course? Keep in mind you are not giving away your intellectual property. You are further proving your expertise and knowledge. You are building your fan base.

So sit down with your favourite beverage and list all the tools you have in your program and identify which ones you want to repurpose. These tools might be processes, questionnaires, checklists, articles all aimed at helping your clients achieve the results they want. You will be surprised how long the list is!

Webinars Are an Excellent Source for Repurposed Content

If you do webinars read on. If you don’t do webinars read on so you can see their ongoing value.

Clarification; I mean recorded webinars. The result is a video of the webinar that can be used for many other things. A reminder; the reason we want to repurpose is because we want to expand our followers and some people much prefer video over the written word.

You repurpose the video into many things:

  • Video clips for social media
  • Video tutorials on how to use specific tools. We have done this with our business development tool called Top 20, which was part of one of our webinars.
  • Video blogs
  • Videos for your website
  • Videos for online courses

To effectively repurpose webinar recordings you need to edit the recordings into smaller chunks. To do this you have two options. Find someone to do it for you or do it yourself. If you don’t want to do it then you can find someone by asking around and/or searching Upworks.

If you want to edit videos yourself here are three different softwares we recommend:

  1. If you are PC user – Windows Movie Maker. It’s free.
  2. If you are a Mac user – iMovie. It’s also free.
  3. Photoshop Premier Elements. This is the software we use. It’s priced around $145 at Staples and you can buy it bundled with Photoshop Elements ($215) if you want to also edit photographs.

Keep in mind there are numerous video editing softwares available. These are the three we are most familiar with.

Repurposing content is only as restrictive as your creativity. We created a series of blogs to help small business owners understand their financial statements. We then took those blogs and turned them into a workbook called the Three Pillars of Financial Management™.   Its third lease on life became a webinar. All three of these still exist and are still available, each one attracting a different following.

This blog does not attempt to cover every possible repurposing strategy. If you have any questions or comments on the content of this blog, and/or you have an example of repurposing you would like to share then please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me; nick@yourplanningpartners.com.

Happy repurposing!

Nick 100x100

Nick Hughes is cofounder of Your Planning Partners Ltd, a company that works hand in hand with small business owners to help them grow their businesses.  He and his partner Judi Hughes owned a number of successful companies before launching Your Planning Partners

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