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

Follow them on Facebook HERE

Personal timeline??

Are you utilizing your Facebook personal timeline to help increase your business?

Did you know that it’s against the Facebook Terms to use your personal account to represent something other than yourself (example: your business), and you could permanently lose access to your account if you don’t convert it to a Page?

What they are saying, is that your personal account must be your first and last name and not a business name.  They also state that you will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.

So, how are you going to use your personal timeline, with regards to the recent changes in our Business Page algorithms, to get you more visibility to your business?

  • Create strategic posts on your personal timeline that talk about your business BUT do not sell your business

Capture

  • Talk about your success, your goals, your accomplishments
    1. Throw your ego out the window.  When people are looking to work with someone, they are looking for successful people and they won’t know you are successful if you don’t talk about it
  • Post pictures of when you are out at events, workshops, conferences
    1. This shows that you are developing relationships, learning, working your business, growing
  • Share posts from your Business Page to your personal timeline
    1. Don’t do this everyday, start of with one share per week, then work it up BUT please don’t do it everyday (for me, I have spent 10 years building my personal timeline and will share a ton of business stuff, but I have earned it and I am okay if people choose to unfollow or unfriend me)
  • Share other Business Pages’ posts to your personal timeline to help them get more exposure
  • Change the privacy setting, on specific/strategic posts, to “public” so that the world can see them (personally I am not a fan of having all my posts set to public)
  • Post inspiration/motivational quotes
  • Showcase your personality through some of the posts, whether it is written or through a visual

These are only suggestions as I can’t tell you how they will work for your business.  What I can tell you, is that for me, it has brought a ton of business to me, along with my Business Page (YES, I still work my Business Page because I get stats, I get to do Sponsored Ads, I am a HUGE supporter of having a Business Page).

What I can tell you that will work, is CONSISTENCY.  Working the world of Facebook for you business, takes structures, takes consistency, takes being you, takes promoting your business.  You can’t just randomly do stuff, it just won’t work in bringing you to the level of success that you are looking for.

Here is to SUCCESS with growing your personal timeline.

CLICK HERE to request me as a friend 😉

Consistency!!

If you know me in person or even follow me around on Facebook, you will know that I talk about routines and consistency.  If we want to build a business, we have to always be doing things to bring our business attention.

You can’t just randomly work your business if you want to see growth, it is doing it every single day.  I know we are all busy, because we are the type of people who just keep on taking things on lol BUT you have to decide what your priorities are.

  • What must get done?
  • What am I good at?
  • How can I get my message out there?
  • Can I handle it or do I need to hire someone?

These are questions you need to ask yourself and seriously look at.  You have to determine where you can focus your time and COMMIT to it.

I have a TON of elements to my business and I schedule them into my calendar so they do get done.  I also will choose specific tasks that I can send to a VA to complete for me.  These are tasks that yes need to be done, but not by me.

Why is consistency so important?  Let me give you a couple of examples based on my stats:

These are my Facebook Stats for my Business Page within the last 7 days

page stats

What you see here is growth, which is regular for my business page and it is because I am consistent!  I post every day, Monday to Friday, one post (no need to do more); I share my posts into a variety of groups throughout the week; I mix up my content so I am always providing value.  I am consistent!

These are my stats for my website, for the month of January

web

So far this is my biggest month BUT for February, to date, I am sitting at 671 views.  Notice where most of my visibility is coming from?  Facebook!!!

If I can drive traffic to my website, based on what I am posting on Facebook, then it opens up the opportunity for people to look at what else I have to offer on my website.

The KEY for me here, is the blogging I do because I then do a post on my Facebook Business Page driving them to my website to read the blog (as you can see in the number 1 page listed for views).

I try to do a blog a week BUT when I am running out of content to write about, I reach out to other business owners (that compliment my business) and have them be Guest Bloggers.  The BONUS here is that it is a free service, brings visibility to both them and myself, and opens us up to potential new clients.

In summary, if you are doing what you need to do, consistently, then how does your business grow?  I am not saying that Social Media is what you need to be doing consistently BUT I would strongly encourage you to look at how it could potentially affect the growth of your business.

 

P.S.  Download my FREE Daily Checklist for Facebook, it just might help create consistency for you.

 

Visuals for Social Media Posts

I received a request from Action CIND to do a blog in regards to visuals

blog

When it comes to Social Media, one of the KEY elements is the visual that you attach to the post.  The visual will draw people in to read your posts, so it is important that you either create or choose the “right” photo that will attract people.

You can create your own visuals/graphics through a couple of options:

  • Canva
    • This site provides templates for posters, cover photos for all Social Media sites, through a drop and place method.  It allows you to upload your own photos or use existing free ones that they provide.  You can also add text, choose font styles and colours.
  • Adobe Photoshop is a program that you can purchase to create your own graphics however, personally I don’t feel that this is as user friendly for us beginners
  • PicMonkey
    • This site is similar to Canva and you can get a free trial
  • Powerpoint
    • This is a Microsoft product and most of us have it available on our computers.  Personally, this is my favourite to use to create my posters/graphics because I can work with the whole slide and then “save as” a jpg/png to upload into Social Media.  I do have a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Powerpoint to create visuals.

Click the poster to take you to purchase:

HOW TO CREATE VISUALS and POSTERS USING POWERPOINT – ONLINE VIDEO

Here are a couple of samples of what I created in Powerpoint

focus-on-building-relationships     i have learned to love me    are you offering YOU.png

When you are ready to use these graphics in a Facebook post BUT also want to have a link for people to go to, you will want to make sure you upload the photo FIRST when you are writing the post.

  1. Go to Business Page
  2. Click in the box where you are going to write your post
  3. Click on the “photo” icon and upload your visual
  4. Then write the post and paste any links you want to drive traffic to.  You might want to have accompany words like “Read More HERE” and then paste the link.

IF you write the post FIRST and paste the link, then it will auto-populate with what is existing on the website.

When it comes to finding the right visuals to use, I always encourage people to use photos of themselves, of their team, of their organization, where you can.  When you want to upload a “generic” type photo, there are a couple of FREE sites that you can some great stockphotos (these sites also allow you to purchase photos for a very low cost).

Your next step?

Go CREATE!!

 

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

groups

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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Ideas for moving forward with the NEW Facebook Changes

Many of you have seen the NEW changes that Facebook will be making with the news feed and have gone into panic mode (read article HERE).

Basically, what is going to be happening is that Facebook will be pushing more “personal” content into your news feed and reducing the amount of business posts.  This has caused many business owners believe that they won’t be able to continue to build their business in Facebook BUT you can!!

If you are a regular follower of mine, you will have seen me preach over and over again about “selling yourself”, networking in groups, provide value on your business page, and do strategic posts on your personal timeline.  If you have been doing this, the GOOD news is that you won’t be as affected as much as those who have only focused on trying to sell their product/service and nothing else.

So what can you do to make sure you are still getting the exposure?

  • Work your personal timeline and news feed
    • Do strategic posts
      • Here is an example:  Gooooood Monday morning everyone!!
        Another FULL week on the agenda for me 🙂
        4 consultations, a training session, Orillia Business Showcase & Networking, zoom call with one of my monthly clients, dinner out with my gf Maureen, creating some videos for clients (loving the NEW website Lumen5 that Gary Semeniuk recommended to me), and working on my NEW 5 month course.
    • Take the time to go through you news feed, regularly, and interact on other people’s post.  Start some conversations on their posts, which in turn, will help you when you do a post on your personal timeline, for reaching more people
    • Start posting regularly on your personal timeline, share other business owners’ post to help them get out there (as a share will represent interaction and value because when someone “shares”, Facebook sees that as value), ask questions, post funny stuff, post motivational/inspirational quotes and articles
    • Do videos and strive to do Live ones

 

 

  • Provide MORE on your Business Page
    • Articles that teach people
    • Articles that provide inspiration
    • Your Blogs and get some Guest Bloggers so that you can tag them and their Business Page to help reach their audience
    • VIDEOS (this one is huge), especially Live Videos
      • Showcase your product/service
      • Share a tip
      • Interview another business owner
      • Interview your customers
      • Showcase when you are out networking
    • Humour
    • Inspiration/Motivation
    • Ask Questions
    • Visuals of YOU
    • Get people TALKING on your posts
    • Be “real”
      • lol here is an example of a visual I did the other day and this was a true statement.  Was the only post I did that day on my business page and notice the reach I got on this, silly right?  P.S.  I used the Blank Meme’s Site to create it, go HERE

pic

 

  • Start going through your “Pages Feed” and help other business owners.  Interact by liking/commenting/sharing their posts.  Make this a daily habit to check this feed.  From the computer, when on your Home Tab, look down the left under the “Explore” Tab and you will see the “Pages Feed” there.

 

  • Reach out to your fan base and tell them if they want to make sure they are seeing your posts in their news feed, to go to your Business Page and hover their mouse over the tab “following” (found just below the cover photo) and for them to choose the option “see first”.  This means that no matter when you post on your business page, when they open their Facebook, your post will be at the top of the feed until they move past it.

 

I hope these ideas help you to move forward.  The reality is and something I have been saying from day one, is that you have to “sell YOU”, you need to talk to people, provide the value that they are looking for.  I promise, if you focus on doing this, you WILL see a growth in your business.

Good luck everyone, you CAN do it!!

P.S.  Be sure to take my FREE Facebook Challenge as this will give you so much more for you Business Page!!  SIGN UP HERE!

Ideas for Facebook for 2018

Launching into 2018, I thought it would be best to give you some ideas on what you can do on Facebook to help your business grow.
  • Take photos of yourself to start using in your posts (have a look at my Business Page to get some ideas)
  • Have fun creating some Memes (see The Stone Grille Business Page for ideas…we just started using Memes but you will get the idea).  Visit “blank memes” website to create
  • Do videos that “teach” your audience how to use your products/services (check out 24/7 NRG Fitness for example videos)
  • Do Split Lives with your customers for testimonials, with other business owners who can help to teach your audience
  • Start blogging (even once a month is good).  Make the blogging about teaching (visit my website for samples of what I blog about).  Look for guest bloggers who can also contribute to what you have to offer, what can benefit your audience.  Once you do your blogs, create a post on your Business Page with an intro to the blog and then attach the link to where the blog is sitting.  This will help to bring more visibility to your website.
  • Find 3-5 groups on Facebook, that have a “true” networking value to them and make it a DAILY routine to interact within those groups (check out THIS GROUP for great networking online)
HAVE FUN!!!
P.S.  Check out this website for creating videos, very user friendly and GREAT for those who are bloggers as you can pull your material in from there.

Reflection…..2017

I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect over the past year as 2017 brought many different elements from both personal and business sense.

I started the year with working towards finishing my 10 month Mastermind program that I invested in and can tell you that it was a HUGE impact with my business, from many levels.  I grew as a person, I developed more free downloads, changed my pricing, implemented some new packages and increased my client base.  I realized my value and that changed how I presented myself, how it allowed me to believe that I was the expert in Facebook.  It is amazing when you change your mindset as to what you can accomplish.

I also learned how to say “no” more and to know when I wasn’t the “right” fit for a client.  Sometimes, we have to realize that not everyone is a good fit and we have to release ourselves from it (but do recommend them to someone else).  I also embraced more of my competition and developed relationships with them so that when I wasn’t the right “fit”, I could refer them to another Social Media person.  We all have our own talents, our own ideas, our own personalities and together we can provide services to everyone who needs them.

I think one of my BIGGEST “learns” this year was that I was more than just a Facebook Trainer, I was a coach.  Never would I have thought that people would hire me to coach them regularly on completing their social media goals.  Being able to provide them with guidance, marketing ideas, strategy, training, inspiration and of course structure (that is one of my fortes), was something I had not realized I had become and it feels awesome!!

I had the opportunity to travel this past year, a trip to Italy and to Whistler.  Italy was a celebration for completing the Mastermind Program with the others who also participated.  It was an outstanding trip, I fell in LOVE with the Amalfi Coast, truly spectacular!!  Whistler was a family trip with myself, my daughter, my boyfriend and his daughter.  We did 5 hikes (and yes some were killers lol) and embraced the world surrounding the mountains, just unbelievable.

One of the biggest “personal” elements that happened this past year, was with my daughter.  Many don’t know, but as a family, we have been working with our daughter to help her battle anxiety and depression.  I had to adjust my work schedule to be here for her, to be her “rock”, to help her understand and to work at getting her the help she needed.  We are now on the right track, in the past 2 months, and she is seeking regular therapy and on meds.  She was not able to attend College, so we had to withdraw her and she was not able to hold down a job.  I decided to hire her to help me with some admin work, as she really wanted to feel as though she was doing something.  She has struggled with leaving the house, unless I was with her, and we are slowly working towards her getting her life back and not being afraid of the “outdoors”.  As a family, we have all come together (her father and brother as well) to help and support her and we believe that she is on the road to being the person she eagerly wants to be.

As I move into 2018, I have to admit to you that I have not set any goals.  For me, I take each day as it comes, develop some ideas as they come to my mind and continue to push myself to grow and achieve.  Every day, I do reflect on what I have done and what I need to do and then I do it.  It is part of who I am.  So, that means, that I can’t tell you what my goals will be this coming year but they will fall into place as I continue to grow.

I want to thank each one of you for always supporting me, for encouraging me, for pushing me, for believing in me.  It I didn’t have you, then how can I continue to grow my business and push myself towards success?

Let’s ROCK 2018!!!