Effective SMM Strategy Part II

Watch For Trends


So now that branding is out of the way (see here), another integral part of an effective social media strategy is to make sure you’re monitoring trends that happen with your end users.  Why is that important?  Well, as previously mentioned, my specialty is in working with small businesses.  In the ocean of the business world – small businesses are the dinghies.  The Fortune 500 companies have seemingly limitless resources (people included) at their fingertips.  They’re more like the freight liners and can keep trucking through those seas through even the biggest storms. Often they won’t even realize they’ve hit a wave, let alone been in a storm.  To a small business, that same storm may mean your poor little dinghy is toast and there you are, left floating in the ocean with (maybe) a lifesaver, praying for someone to come rescue you.

That illustration is exactly why you need to prepare.  Your goal as a small business is to stay one step ahead of the storm.  If you see that times are tough(financially) for your clients, it may be time to consider other inventory options that are still quality, but more cost effective for you – and your client.  If you ignore the trend, chances are – you’re going to end up with expensive inventory just sitting on your shelves that you’re going to have to discount anyway.  Win for your consumer – lose for you.

Other things you’ll want to pay close attention to:  Cultural happenings.  Maybe your business supports the Indiana HJR-6 amendment or maybe it opposes it.  You have the choice of making your opinion known or staying neutral on the matter.  If you’re vocal either way, it’s likely to have an impact on your business.  It also may produce or take away service or merchandise opportunities – both of which are very important to your business.

In this case, the above mentioned goes hand in hand with what’s next – and that is government changes or potential changes.  It seems there’s nothing we like to complain about more than our government.  Everyone has an opinion – regardless of whether they voice it or not.  Truth is though – a good majority have no qualms about telling it how it is when it comes to government related issues.  Keep an eye out for that.  It could be tax changes, a lawsuit that will have an impact on how your company does business, increase in minimum wage (is any of this sounding familiar?)

So how do you keep track of what’s trending?  I’m happy you asked.  I’m even happier that someone else has done the work of tracking down all these tools for me!  Shout out to Social Media Today for making my work today a little easier.

[Click Here] to find your list of tools.  Use them.  That’s what they’re for. :-)

Effective SMM Strategy Part I

Promote your brand

As a business, your social media strategy can and should be customized for you.  However, there are a few tips that blanket most businesses.  This blog is the first in a multi-part series about effective social media marketing.

First, let’s start with the definition of brand.  [] defines branding as this:  “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.”

Having said that, if you’re trying to build your brand, starting with something visual like a name, logo or design, it goes without saying that that symbol needs to be consistent through all of your marketing.  Social media is no exception.  If your twitter handle is @MakeMeLaugh, that should be your handle across social media as well – or as close to it as possible.  The interwebs have done their part to make it easier on you too.  Wasn’t that nice of them?  Check out  You simply type in the handle you want to use, universally, across all social media platforms and it tells you at which ones it’s available.

Promoting your brand is also about good PR.  Yes, PR happens via social media now too – although not exclusively of course.  What do I mean?  Your company should be a tool (not the urban dictionary definition) to their audience.  Your social media should provide valuable information, it should entertain and it should be engaging.  Ineffective social media involves doing posts and walking away from your computer.  If your audience has questions, answer them.  If they have a problem with your product, resolve it.  Make them laugh, make them cry.  Make them love you.  In return, they’ll develop trust in not just you, but in your product or service.

Finally, follow yourself.  No, I don’t mean chase your own tail.  What I mean is that you want to know what your public is saying about your brand.  If there are issues, you absolutely need to know about them and should want to fix them.  Also, your following knows what they want from you.  You never  know what ideas they could be posting for you that you’ll miss if you’re not tracking what people are saying about you.  There are multiple free resources out there that do the tracking for you for free.  [Trackur] is just one.  Do your research and see which works best for your company.

Stay tuned for part II!!  See you soon!


Even Spielberg Got Rejected

Did you just say you don’t have a fear of rejection?  Don’t believe you.  I mean – there must be a few of you out there that are fearless, but let’s face it.  The one thing that freezes most of us in our tracks is fear of a two-letter-word.


This video is very clear – we’re all (regardless of our social status or level of success) going to be rejected at some point in our life.  Here’s the thing though:  You don’t know that you’ll be rejected unless you ask.  The fear of the two-letter-word stops most of us in our tracks.

  • “If I ask for that raise, my boss won’t give it to me – so why bother?”
  • “If I ask him out, he’ll say no.  Then I’ll be embarrassed.”
  • “If I go after that promotion, someone more qualified will get the job.”
  • “I can’t go after that big name client. I’m not a big name, myself.”

Stop it!

  • If you ask for that raise – what if your boss says yes?!  You have better quality of life with just one question.  Plus, you come off as someone who is confident – which certainly isn’t a bad thing come time for that promotion.
  • Is it possible that he’ll say no?  Sure – on to the next one.  Why would you be embarrassed?  Are you so arrogant to think that you are a match for everyone?  Let me clear that up for you.  You’re not – so brush your shoulders off and on to the next one.
  • If you go after that promotion – could you get passed up?  Sure!  If you do get passed up, you’ve gained interviewing experience (which is never bad) in case you get the opportunity to interview there again.  It shows you’re interested in growing with the company.  If you decide you don’t want to give it another shot with your current employer – it gives you the interview experience to take to interviews with potential new employers.
  • If you go after that big name client – sure…. They could go with another firm that’s larger and well known.  Worst that could happen?  You’re a name in their mind.  I guarantee that smaller businesses follow that company.  Maybe your name comes up with them.  Or best case – they hire YOU because, let’s be honest.  Sometimes clients buy not just experience or brand.  Sometimes they buy YOU.  Your character.  Your confidence.

More than any of that, being told no isn’t the end of your world.  Every time you get knocked down, you have to use that mental muscle to pull yourself back up.  It makes you stronger.

Your homework?  Do one thing this week that puts you in this zone.  Ask the guy or girl out that you’ve been wanting to (if they’re single.)  Ask for that raise at work.  The worse that can happen is that you end up stronger for it in the end.  I’m going to do the same.  Have to practice what I preach, right??

“As actors, we deal with rejection so much more than any other business. So I don’t care how much of a genius you are, if you don’t have the propensity to be able to get back up every time you get knocked down, then you’re not going to survive.” – Ryan Kwanten

Your Achilles Heel Needs To Be Broken!

Once upon a time, a business acquired a client.  This business acquired this client because potential was seen, but many fixable flaws were also seen.

Ok, the business is mine and the client – well… I’ll keep that anonymous.

What I will tell you, though, is that what this client had to offer me was really priceless.  He did a fantastic job, saved me a ton of stress – and also was more than affordable.  What’s wrong with that?  Nothing!  He was great… when he actually showed up.

You might not think your lack of organization has an impact on your business.  You might want to think again.  When I met this client, he was writing his appointments down on scrap pieces of paper that he’d leave in different bins in his office.  Then, when he got phone calls (like mine) asking why he didn’t show up, he’d apologize all over himself, explain his lack of organization and do the appointment for free.

What he didn’t understand is that as a customer, I felt like he didn’t value my time.  It wasn’t until we sat down and talked it through that I understood – he just has no strength when it comes to this at all.  This is where I jumped in. I got him organized with an online calendar that synced with his phone and to my knowledge, he hasn’t missed an appointment since.

We live in a world where people talk.  They don’t just talk face to face anymore.  When people talk now, they talk to their audience of 1500 or so through Twitter, Facebook or whatever their SM outlet preference is.  If I had been any other customer of his, he would have lost his money for the day, I would have lost my time for the appointment he didn’t show up for and he would have lost a lot of business due to me running my digital mouth.

Yes, I’m well aware that this is Social Media 101 – but sometimes we all need a reminder.  Myself included.  So here’s your swift kick in the pants.  Find your Achilles Heel and fix it.  Pronto.  If you can’t – find someone who can.

Chaos – Where The Living Gets Good!

I’ve just come back from an event with [Pattern].  As always, networking with people has provided me with a reminder of why I do what I do.

I met so many people tonight.  Some of those were established business owners.  Some of them new businesses.  Others – up and comers.  This blog is for you.  The up and comers.  While I hope I provided some sort of encouragement to you – I know that there’s strength in numbers.  I also want you to know you’re not alone.   One of my friends, Scott, has agreed to let me share his most recent blog post with you.

My hope is that you not stay in the place that you are now – but let this be a little push or a huge shove forward into the place you should be.  The place where YOU become the encourager for another up and comer.  Live.  YOU!  LIVE!  No longer is it OK to exist and hope that you make it.  Take steps.  Get out of your head.  Step outside of logic.  Chaos is where the living gets good.

I hope you enjoy his blog – but more than that, I hope you do something with it.

Last night consisted of a myriad of vivid dreams. One, in particular, woke me up with tears dripping down my cheeks.

Growing up, my Mom always hung enormous photos of my brother and I on the hallway walls most near our bedrooms. One particular wall seemed like a prison lineup of school photos of the both of us, sequenced chronologically over the previous 8 years. They nearly were. It was a wall of nerdy, quirky, humorous, and embarrassing mug shots.

As we grew older, we started acquiring hobbies, and identities. So, as you would imagine, our photos began to parallel those changes. My brother had photos of him doing his hobbies. I had photos of me doing mine. Intermixed were photos of our whole family, Mom and Dad included.

All of these, of course, are photographs. They are accurate and definitive glimpses of a moment in time. Frozen memories behind a pane of glass.

My dream last night, as you may imagine, was a bit more.

Picture your family, let’s say five years ago, meeting together at the house you will always consider your one true home. And picture a painting on a specific wall of that house, which you will always remember. This isn’t a photo, this is a painting. This is a painting that changes with time.

This was my dream. Bear with me.

The first time I notice the painting, it is of my Grandpa and Grandma. They were beautiful people. As I look at the painting, Grandpa begins to fade away, until he is gone. As there were lineups of photos on the walls of my houses growing up, consider a wall of paintings on this wall. To the right was a painting of my Grandfather and Grandmother. They, too, were beautiful individuals. Grandfather fades away, until he is gone. Looking back to the left, Grandma is alone in her painting. Looking right, Grandmother has faded, and is gone. Their painting is now a sheet of black.

I don’t dare look back at Grandma’s painting, because I know the inevitable outcome. I knew this would become a painting that I would never want to buy. Empty. Lonely. Black.

Their painting is now a sheet of black.

In my dream, I receive a letter from Grandma. She had long passed. In her letter, she tells of a painting that has been in our family throughout the generations. This painting is a painting in motion. It changes as our family does. It is a timeline only seen by who is looking at it.

Looking at it, I see our immediate family. Mom, Dad, brother, and me. This particular painting is a rendering of a photo that a park ranger took of our family in the Smokies a few years ago. The four of us were there. Then, one wasn’t.

I wasn’t.

When I woke up at 4:00, I started sobbing. Not because I saw myself dying, but because I didn’t see myself living.

I don’t know when I am going to die. Truth be told, I hope I outlive all of you. But, if in the enormous possibility that I don’t, I hope I live my life alive.

I’ve lived most of my life in the fear of being beaten, in perhaps every sense of the word. But, I haven’t. Not nearly in any sense of the word. I’m learning to live my life in a way that motivates me, that pushes me, and makes me happy. And in that sense, I won’t be beaten. And in that sense, hopefully, I won’t fade to black.

So what’s keeping you from living?  Don’t just say you want it.  Seek it. Find it. Do it.

Ready, Set, Network!

You’ve decided you’re ready.  No time like the present.  It’s time to put yourself out there and start rubbing elbows with all the other movers and shakers.  But wait.  What do I do when I get there?!

Ok, before anything else – sign up.  Absolutely don’t let anything keep you from this networking event.  Your signing up will likely keep you accountable to making sure you do everything else you need to do.  No excuses.  None.

After you sign up, take some time to develop your [Elevator Pitch.]  People need to know what you do and you need to have enough practice with your pitch to deliver it with confidence and subtle enthusiasm.  Keep in mind, everyone goes to a networking event to network.  As much as we would all love for it to be all about us… it’s not.  Be genuine when asking about the business of others.  A good majority of us really do enjoy lending a helping hand when we can.  This networking event could be your opportunity to do just that.  Of course, keep plenty of business cards within reach and hand them out!

My mother always used to ride my case when I was younger telling me to quit being such a wallflower.  As is normally the case, mom was right.  As I’ve aged, I’ve certainly come into my voice – and thank goodness!  You have a voice too, so find it and use it.  Don’t stand back and wait for others to come to you.  One thing we love as humans are other humans that exude confidence.  We’re drawn to it like a gnat to wine.

Of course that couldn’t hurt now that I mention it.  But keep it to one glass ;-)

Happy Networking!