Something Beyond Facebook – “LinkedIn”

Every day we hear about why it is important for a business to have a presence on Facebook, especially with a Facebook Business Page. It is important because Facebook Business Pages are public. If someone “googles” you, they are sure to find you there. But we are hearing that Facebook is continuing to minimize Business Page posts to their LIKE audience. Facebook Ads may be the only recourse. But either way, that still puts the control in your prospects hand, not yours.

How can you find a social media site where you can control finding people, have a better chance for people viewing your posts and articles? Welcome to LinkedIn. Let’s see if LinkedIn is right for you?

First you have to get rid of the myth that LinkedIn is just for job hunting. So not true! There are over 500 million people worldwide on LinkedIn and every 2 seconds someone else is joining. Do you think all 500 million are looking for jobs!! Most people on LinkedIn are there because they are business people and they want to connect with other business people. If your customers are educated people with average incomes of $100K or more, this may be the place for you to be.

Here are a few tips that will help you whether you are already on LinkedIn or you are thinking of joining:

#1 You can have a personal profile and you can have a Company profile. Both free. You can connect them, once they are both created, by adding your personal profile as an employee of the Company.

#2  When creating your personal profile, always make sure your picture is professional looking. Don’t use a photo of you with your kids or your dogs. Have someone take a snap with your camera with you looking your best. If you have a professional one that is great.

#3 There is a space behind your picture that you can customize. Use it. The dimensions are 1584 x 396 pixels. Either use a landscape style photo or create a custom banner with a program like Canva.

Here are two random samplings. One is not taking advantage of his banner. The other one is. Make sure you create a banner that represents who you are and what you offer.

DEFAULT LINKEDIN BACKGROUND

 

CUSTOM LINKEDIN BACKGROUND

 

#4 Make note of the Header and make sure the words are Client Facing – meaning “what you do to serve your customers”. No one cares what your title of your firm is. They want to know why they should get to know you.

#5 Make sure your summary tells people what you do, who you serve, and the transformation you provide your customers. Whether it is coaching them to success, creating special evenings, helping them find the home of their dreams, or giving them peace of mind with the right life insurance product, this is the place to tell them that is the end result.

#6 Connect, connect, connect.  Spend at least 30 minutes per day using “My Network” and connecting with new people. If you can, send them a personal message. Here is a tip how to do that: Instead of just clicking the Connect button, click their profile, then click Connect. It will allow you to send a personal message. Even if they are not your “ideal” client, you will be able to connect to others they are connected to. Expand your connections, expand your reach.

 

#7 Once you are connected, you can send Messages suggesting that you and that person get offline and talk by phone, email, or a face to face meeting.

#8 Join LinkedIn Groups. Participate in those groups to learn and build relationships that can connect you to others.

#9 Use the Search Field to explore finding new contacts by a variety of fields.

#10 Add new posts every few days with interesting topics related to your services. Join in conversations of what others post. Do LIKES or Comments. If you are a writer, post some articles. If you are into video, post some personal videos of what you do, maybe seminars that you are offering, or a course they can sign up for. Or share an experience that you provide your clients – add a link to your website.

LinkedIn offers a lot. Access daily on your laptop or with the LinkedIn app for tablets and mobile phone. There are several premium options available with LinkedIn. There are many courses that explain how to really powerhouse LinkedIn. Down the road, you can see if those will be advantageous to you or not. My advice is to start off slowly with the free version. You may never need to upgrade. Get comfortable with LinkedIn being a part of your marketing process. Go find those connections that are looking to connect with you.

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com

Facebook Followed Me Around the World

It can be very challenging when you are away in another country and you can’t use your mobile phone without costing an arm or a leg.  Your choices are using it only when you have access to WIFI or purchase a local sim card. What do you do when you want to make a reservation for a restaurant or need to contact a local store and you didn’t purchase the sim card?

I wanted to have a manicure during my stay in Spain.  While in my apartment that has WIFI, I googled “Nail Places”.  Up popped a couple of places near me.  I saw one that looked appealing.  I clicked to their website.  Sounded good. I was able to see what services they offered, but if I wanted an appointment I had to phone them. Even though I did have a local Sim card, I was a little nervous about calling.  What if they didn’t speak English. After all, I was in Spain. Thankfully, they also had a listing for their Facebook Business Page.  I clicked onto that.  Now we are talking, I could send them a Facebook message.   With a message through Facebook, we could translate.

I sent a message through my Facebook message app.  Within a couple of hours, I had a response, an appointment, and was able to get my nails done.  You can even see the response time on this post, pretty quick.  Thank goodness for Facebook. It didn’t hurt by the way that the owners were Brits. Lucky for me.

This taught me a great lesson of the power of having a Facebook Page. We often relate to Facebook as having to focus on posting  to show up in people’s newsfeed.  We now know that will be a challenge.  But having a Facebook Page is still very relevant.  There will be times people will want to google you and if you have a Facebook Business Page and your template is “Local business” they will not only find you, they will be able to contact you via phone, email or text or directly through the Facebook Messenger.

Gillian and I went to a new start up restaurant for our Sunday dinner this week.  We did both a checkin and a review for this cute place.  Our comments will help them grow their business and allow other people wanting a good dinner to be able to know this is a good choice.

Traveling abroad can be an amazing experience.  But having apps like Facebook can make your lives a little easier.  You can use the mobile app to dial home via phone, video or text.  No charge as long as you are on WIFI.  Makes staying in communication really easy with your family and friends back home or business associates.

If your business doesn’t have a Facebook Page, you may want to consider it.  It is a powerful tool.  Free to build and free to use.  Now there is no excuses.

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com

Coaching A Dinosaur

One often expects that all business people are savvy with technology tools. But as I have been coaching entrepreneurs, I am often surprised to learn that it is not always true. Many are still living in the dinosaur age, the age before today’s technology. Some still use outdated phone devices to communicate for business. Or even if they have a smart phone, they are not harnessing all the benefits it offers.

One of the biggest issues is struggling with technology tools and its vocabulary and how it all fits together. It is hard keeping up with the evolution when you are busy running a business. Without that knowledge, how can your business run efficiently, so you can save money and get more customers? An additional downside is that it also can hurt your everyday life as well. Less time for family, less money, and less time for you. What do you do?

I just had a coaching session with someone who is starting a business and discovered he was still using a flip phone. I found out in an extraordinary way. I was sending him text messages and he wasn’t getting them. I didn’t think to ask in advance if he had texting. After a chuckle with each other, my first advice was for him to take the leap to an iPhone. What will his iPhone do for him that was never going to be available on the flip phone?

 

A Smart Phone will help him be more productive:

  1. Access the wide world web anytime, anywhere
  2. Access his emails – multiple platforms both personal and business
  3. Access social media sites and allow him to post on the fly
  4. Project and time management apps
  5. Respond to messages of customers quickly with text, emai,l and Facebook Messenger
  6. Use Google Maps so he doesn’t miss an appointment by getting lost
  7. Take photos and videos and upload them to social media sites
  8. Take notes
  9. Record audio
  10. Watch webinars and online courses
  11. Listen to podcasts
  12. And more……

It will help him develop his business faster. His response to this list, “Holy Cow, where have I been?” After he purchases his phone, I suggested he ask a friend, a peer who has one, to teach him how to use the new phone. I recommended he not ask the young nephew to help. His nephew only knows this world and may not be able to help a dinosaur become evolved. When my client asks, “What is Siri?”  the nephew will probably say “you’re kidding, right?”

Keep in mind the flip side benefit of this. Many of his customers are using smart phones. If he doesn’t understand their experience how will his marketing reflect connecting with them using the same technology. His email platform and website should all be designed for a Smart Phone experience.

What’s the takeaway? Learn. Listen to podcasts. Watch YouTube training videos.  Get an up to date phone. Find out about apps that will make your business easier. Make sure your marketing can be viewed correctly on your customer’s phone.

Keeping current on technology developments and how to apply them to your business is critical. Don’t be a dinosaur. It will COST YOU Money in Sales.

P.S.  Quick story. I was just traveling to California from Arizona. Stopped for our last gas stop before we crossed the border. I pulled up my trusty “Around Me” app on my phone and figured out who had the cheapest gas. It was a difference of 50 cents per gallon. Your phone can save you money every where you look.

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com

Facebook Business Page Owners….Keep An Eye Out…Changes Coming!!!

Ever since Gillian and I created our Facebook Business Page, the one thing we had to get used to, was waking up most days and seeing a new announcement from Facebook about the newest update. Whether it be changes in the look on one’s phone or laptop, new categories or tabs, or interfacing with one’s audience, Facebook is always evolving. Their changes are driven by two factors. The first one is increasing the experience for people to be able to interact with their friends and family. That is primary. The second factor is Facebook makes their money with Ads, so getting businesses to advertise is key. Having a business page on Facebook is free. But the hope is, that eventually a Business Page will buy Ads. To make it easier for the business owner to create a presence on Facebook, a variety of templates allows a business to showcase their products and services, reviews, videos, photos, and e-commerce are offered.

Buying ads and boosting posts has always been optional.   If you had enough “Likes” you could count on your followers to see some of your organic posts in their daily Newsfeed.  But take heed, changes are on the horizon.

Facebook Announces Coming News Feed Changes Which Will Reduce the Reach of Page Posts

  1. Friend to Friend is primary. The news feed will allow more of the posts from your “friends” than from business Pages. Which means squeezing out a lot of those Business posts.
  2. Long and thoughtful replies get a boost. This was the second half of the announcement, and it seems to be a significant pivot. Recorded videos will not get nearly the weight they once did. Passive scrolling and low-quality engagement are now considered bad. Posts that get long, thoughtful replies will get priority in your newsfeed.

So, what does that mean? How can your Business Page counter this besides spending tons of money on buying Ads?

Facebook’s Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri offers some suggestions:

“Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities. In Groups, people often interact around public content. Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And news can help start conversations on important issues.”

From Adam’s statement creating “live” video will get you more visibility in the News Feed. But what about those of us that aren’t comfortable doing “live” on Facebook? Does this mean we should dump our Facebook Pages? Or never build one if you don’t have one now? Absolutely not. There are still plenty of good reasons to have a Facebook Business Page, but you will need to use it wisely:

  1. Having a Facebook Business Page to send people to is still important. If someone Googles you, and finds your Page, they will be able to search your Page and learn about you and your services.
  2. Consider changing your “Call to Action” button to: Sign up for My Newsletter or Visit My Website, rather than Call Me or Email Me. They may only visit your FB page once, so get your best value and send them where you want the traffic.
  3. Make your posts more relevant. Showcase your “Blog” or “Podcast” or a new webinar you are hosting.
  4. Create a Facebook Group with your Business Page and provide a community for your followers to interact with each other. With you being the leader, you can announce workshops, webinars or when you have a lead magnet to share.
  5. If you want to have your “followers” see a relevant post, consider “Boosting” it. It will be fairly cheap to reach your current audience.
  6. You can still use your Facebook Business Page to buy Ads. Those Ads will show up in the Newsfeed of the audience you profile for your Ad.  Facebook makes their money in Ads. Those will not go away. Facebook is a great place to buy ads as Facebook can help you optimize your Ad to the right audience.

Hopefully this will give you a clear understanding of the changes. More to come I am sure. But here is one big HUGE takeaway from this story.  I didn’t hear this announcement on Facebook. I received the information from email. Just remember that Email Marketing is still the “King” for getting the word out. Use Facebook marketing to get prospects and customers on your Email list. You own your list. Facebook is just rented property.

Here is Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of Thursday, January 11th from Facebook:

 

READ FULL ARTICLE:  https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10104413015393571

 

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com

What Keeps Your Customers Up At Night?

Do you have the kind of product that solves someone’s problems?  If they had what you offer might they sleep a little better at night?

I suppose if you run a hair salon or a pizza shop you might chuckle and say, “well that’s not me, I don’t help them sleep better.”  Or do you? If you run a hair salon and you gave someone a stunning braided hair style and then she had a wonderful “princess” evening, don’t you think she would sleep like a baby with a smile on her face?

Or if they stopped by your shop for a pizza   to take care of that grumbly tummy. That would let let them sleep well, right? All of us in our own way have a product or service that can help a customer so they don’t have to stay up all night worried.

So now that we know that we have at least one customer who we can help have a good night’s sleep, who is that customer?  It certainly isn’t everyone.   Not everyone is going to like your pizza.  Not everyone is going to like your style of haircuts.  If only certain people like your pizza, who are they?  Just a select group, right!  Many marketing gurus say, “the smaller the niche, the better”.  The more defined the niche is, the more targeted your message can be, especially for your online marketing messages.  Why waste your time, energy and money on targeting people that are not interested in what you sell?

Part of my services is conducting Facebook and Website Audits.  I notice that some of my customers know who their customer is, but I don’t see that in their social media posts, emails, lead magnets, or even website.  In fact, sometimes I say, “I can’t tell who your customer is?” Potential customers may think the same or assume they are “not” your customer and move on.  That is not good.

Here are two suggestions to make sure that you don’t have the same problem.  #1 Define and I mean de-fine your perfect customer.  Make it as “nichy” as possible.  You have more than one customer type but don’t lump them together.  Separate them.  Then choose the one that is most profitable to you.  Make them your #1 priority, and then the others in descending order. Perhaps you will market to one type on Facebook and another on Twitter.

Once that is done begin #2 audit your own online messages.  Better yet, ask someone to look at them objectively for you.  Can you see your #1 customer in your posts and your website, meaning will I know who your customer is?  Consider not only your words, but your colors.  Knowing the psychology of color will attract or repel certain people.  Are your online newsletters easy to read, or are they too busy. Do they look good on mobile?  Millennials rarely look at posts or emails on laptops. They skim quickly.  If they are your audience, don’t go in for a long sales letter.  They will never read it.  Pictures and just captions will be better for them.  If you audience is seniors, text is good.  They will probably read on their computers but don’t make the type small.  Hard to read.  I think you get the idea.  Last word here on images.  Pick images that attract your customer.  If you are a realtor and you are selling to families, don’t have only million-dollar homes on your posts or website.  Those younger people will run for the hills or another broker feeling intimidated.

I would like to finish up this blog focusing on #1 your ideal customer.  In the online marketing world, we call it an “AVATAR”.  It’s a digital computerized person.  Some of you may have seen the movie “The AVATAR” and know what I mean.  You may have come across that language in other blogs.  Picture your ideal Avatar walking into your store, calling for a coaching class, buying your class, buying the house you have listed, or calling for an insurance quote.  I don’t care what business you have, we all have our ideal “avatar”.

If I asked you the question, “who is your ideal “avatar”, how fast could you share the details so I could visualize that person?  Taking it one step further, if I asked you “what keeps that avatar up at night”, would you honestly know the answer? If you aren’t sure, it is imperative you find out.  Step #1 is knowing the mechanical specifics of that avatar. Step #2 is what makes them human and have needs that your products solve.

Take out a piece of paper and start jotting some notes. Before you are done, you will know who that avatar is.  Stats: women, male, children, single people, married, divorced, geographical location, income, age – things like that.

Next write down what Issues or challenges could influence your Avatar buying your product/service. Humanize. Retiring without any idea with what they are going to do with their time. Someone unhappy with their job. Want more out of like outside of work. Could be introverts and have trouble making friends. Have just moved to a new city. May be dealing with family issues – medical or mental and need guidance. Want changes in their life but don’t know how to begin? May want to travel but really don’t have a plan or where to go? Going through a divorce.  Trouble with children. Maybe they want more money, more time, or need to learn new things quickly.  How can you help?  If I owned a pizza shop that offered a vegan and gluten-free menu, I would appeal to those people who like that food for health reasons or social conscious reasons.  My avatar sure wouldn’t be someone who eats at McDonalds.   I am a color stylist and my services are expensive, I don’t want to advertise to the little old lady who loves her white hair and lives on a fixed budget.  Which of these issues does your product solve?

Lastly, how can what you offer help your customers and make a difference to their lives?  How can you help you clients meet their dreams and goals? More fun, happier life, more income, better health!!

Hopefully, this blog is giving you some inspiration to take another look at your online messaging.  Know who your primary avatar is.  Then see if you are attracting that person.  Whether you are growing your business organically or with paid traffic, it will save you a lot of time, money and frustration.  Zero in on your best client so they can recognize and find YOU.   You can get that baby (your avatar) to sleep through the night and not cry.  Just like in this picture, happy baby with a happy Mom.

 

 

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com

The Best-Kept Marketing Secret

Shhh, want a hear about a great way to market your business online?  Want to discover a little known marketing strategy that won’t cost you a cent?  Ok, here it is.  The best-kept marketing secret is… SlideShare.  Owned by LinkedIn, SlideShare has over 70 million visitors per month, which makes it one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world.  And yet, despite it’s incredible global reach, most businesses are NOT using SlideShare to market their business.  According to Social Media Examiner, “Since few marketers consistently upload content to SlideShare, there’s much less competition than on the other social channels. In fact, SlideShare is the only major content marketing platform left where you can generate some nice content exposure from day one.” (7 Ways to Use SlideShare for Your Business by David Waring)

SlideShare is an incredible tool any business can easily use to share their expertise with a large audience.  Simply upload a presentation, infographic, document, or video, and you’re off and running.  While you do have some leeway on the type of content you can upload, the majority of SlideShare presentations are your typical PowerPoint style presentations.

 

In the event that you would like to take advantage of this best-kept marketing secret, here are some best practices for creating a stellar SlideShare presentation:

1. Focus On Your Audience

Before you even begin designing your presentation, think more about what your target audience needs and less about what you want to say.  Your SlideShare presentation should help your viewer.  Always try to avoid just selling your stuff.  Remember, you want your customer to know, like, and trust you.

2. Use Presentation Software Tools

While SlideShare does allow you to upload ANY type of PDFs, not all PDFs look good.  So, instead of creating a traditional 8.5 x 11″ PDF using Microsoft Word, it’s better to use PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote, etc. to create your presentation slides.  When you use a traditional presentation software program you automatically build slides at the optimal size (600x800 pixels) for easy reading online

3. Keep it Brief

While there are no set rules on the ideal length of a SlideShare presentation, less is best.  Try to keep your presentation short and to the point.  According to SlideShare, research shows 45% of the presentations uploaded have 10-30 slides and that the average number of words per slide is 24.

4. Use Images

The best presentations shy away from slides with lots of text and/or bullet points.  Instead, engaging presentations strive for minimal text and vivid images. Try to use high quality photos, simple charts, and eye-catching illustrations.  Studies show that visuals are processed 60,000x faster than words, and can increase a viewer’s comprehension by 89%.  Some of the most popular SlideShare presentations contain just one idea or thought per slide.

5. Font Suggestions

Aim to use a font size that’s large enough for viewers to easily read your slides from all digital devices – desktop and mobile.  Font size should be no smaller than 24-30 point size.  Also, it’s a good rule of thumb to only use two fonts styles.

6. Choose your colors carefully

Much like your choice of fonts, you want to use colors sparingly.  It’s a good idea to use your brand colors to maintain consistency in your marketing efforts.  When in doubt, try to use a contrasting color scheme, so your text stands out from the background.  A good rule of thumb is to use 2-4 colors max.

7. Add Hyperlinks

While creating your SlideShareSlideShare presentation include hypertext links that lead back to relevant pages on your website. You have the option of inserting hyperlinks in both the description of your presentation and directly on your slides.

8. Include a Call-to-Action

Always be sure to include at least one call-to-action in your presentation.  With SlideShare you can embed hyperlinks, or simply add your phone number, email address, blog, social media channels, etc. on the last slide.  In addition, remember to fully complete your SlideShare profile so viewers can learn more about you.

9. Search Engine Optimization

Use relevant keywords in your SlideShare presentation’s title, description, and tags.  Doing this will make it easier for people to find your presentation while doing an internal search on SlideShare, and also when they do an external search engines like Google.  Keep in mind that over 80% of SlideShare’s viewers come from searches, with at least 20% coming directly from Google.

10. Promote Your Presentations

Be sure to promote your presentation across all of your social media platforms (ex. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest).  You can even connect your social media accounts to your SlideShare account so your social media audiences automatically see any of your updates.  Another idea is to break your presentation up into multiple images and share with a link to your social media programs and/or your email newsletter.

So, are you ready to start using this 100% free marketing tool?  I sure hope so.

Here’s a great collection of SlideShare presentations to help you learn how to master SlideShare like a pro:

  • Introduction to SlideShare for Businesses

https://www.slideshare.net/Slideshare/an-overview-to-slideshare-for-business

  • Getting Started With SlideShare

https://www.slideshare.net/Slideshare/get-started-with-slide-share

  • How to Make Awesome SlideShares: Tips & Tricks

https://www.slideshare.net/Slideshare/how-to-make-awesome-slide-shares-tips-and-tricks

  • 10 Ways to Win at SlideShare SEO & Presentation Optimization

https://www.slideshare.net/Oneupweb/slideshare-optimization-oneupweb

On a final note, if you need some help with creating engaging PowerPoint presentations and eye-catching graphics, stayed tuned next week for more information on our new Graphics 202 online course.

By Gillian Whitney

Communications Consultant

Launch4Life

gillian@launch4life.com