How to Launch Your First Online Course!

Are you ready to create a course but don’t know where to start? Follow this simple process and you will get your course done in no time flat! 

Step 1: Define your Marketing Position 

Ever heard the story that if you have a day to cut down a tree you should spend 7 hours sharpening your ax and one hour cutting down the tree? That is exactly what this step is!

Before getting started creating 300+ power point slides and 20 fillable PDFs, make sure you identify WHO your course is for and what result (transformation) they are going to get or achieve after taking your course. Here are some questions you should be able to answer:

  • Who is our target audience?
  • Who is not our audience?
  • What are their hopes, desires, dreams?
  • What are their fears, frustrations, & pain points?
  • What results do they want? What transformation will your course give them?
  • Who are your competitors? 
  • What have they tried and why hasn’t it worked?
  • How can you solve the problem better?

Answer these questions in detail and everything else you do will be easier.

Step 2: Map Out Your Modules 

The biggest mistake in course creation is trying to teach too much.  You are an expert in your area and you have a burning desire to help people so naturally you want to give them all of the information they need to be successful. Unfortunately this is a losing proposition. If you give away too much information and create a 25 hour course, most people will never finish watching all of the videos, and even less will take action.

You can solve this by giving away just enough information to keep it high level, and use weekly live coaching calls to fill in the gaps. (Which can also be recorded, transcribed, and uploaded as bonus content to your members area!) 

A good structure I have found, is this: 

  • A course has 6 modules of about one hour each. 
  • Each module has 6 lessons of about 10 minutes each.

That means that a course will have about 6 hours total of content and it will be laid out in an easy to consume format! 

What I have found that is also very helpful, is to write out a bullet point for each lesson in a “sales language” format so that I can use those bullet points on the sales page. 

Step 3: Write Your Sales Page 

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the next step is not to record your course, but to write your sales page. This will help you to further narrow down what you are going to be teaching and make sure that the course you have in mind is actually an appealing offer. 

After writing your sales page you can add it to your site, let people know that it is currently closed but they can join the wait list, and start capturing leads. This is a great way to also gauge interest for a course before you go to all the work of building it!

Step 4: Record Your First Module or Pre-Training Material 

You don’t make money in draft mode! Get your first module done or pre-training material ready and then get ready to sell! If you are doing this for the first time and will be doing live coaching calls as you move through your course, you are going to be able to customize your training for your students. Each week let them know what you are going to be teaching the next week and ask them what their biggest questions are related to that topic. Guess what! You now have your lessons mapped out for you! Take their questions and incorporate them into your lessons and your content will create itself. 

Step 5: Time to Sell

Don’t let that course sit on your virtual shelf too long. Once you have done steps 1-4, get busy selling! 

What questions do you have about course creation? Let me know in the comments below!

3 Recent Facebook Changes That Affect Your Business Page

On April 21, 2015, Facebook announced that they were making three changes to their algorithm. The changes were based on a survey that asked Facebook users what they would like to improve about their personal page feed.

As you might already know, on Facebook only personal page likes count on a business page. (That’s why you always see, “Like us from your personal page” in most business posts.) So, while Facebook might have been targeting an improved experience for personal pages, our business pages are going to take a hit, too.

Here are the changes that Facebook has announced and how I think they’ll affect our business pages:

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#1 Users will see less “commented on” posts in their Facebook feed.

Previously, the Facebook feed would show us the posts that our friends were commenting on. At the top of the message, it would say, “Jane Doe commented on Earth Friendly Farms post” and show us the entire thread of comments.

Facebook is going to move these posts down the page. If you want to see what your friends are up to, you’ll need to spend more time scrolling to the bottom of your newsfeed.

How does this apply to your business page? This change will keep your friends’ friends (or page likers) from seeing who’s engaging with your business. It will make it more difficult to get new likes from the friends of the people who like your page, as well.

 

#2 Facebook is relaxing the “multiple posts” rule so that users see more content.

Facebook is labeling this as an effort to improve “the experience for people who don’t have a lot of content available to see.” If you are only connected with a handful of friends, you’ll now be able to view more of their posts.

How does this apply to your business page? Anyone that likes your page but only has a small group of friends should now be seeing more of your business content.

Be aware, however, that if you publish several times a day on your business page you might end up overwhelming the newsfeeds of people with a low friend count. They could unfollow (or unlike) your page.

When too many people select “I don’t want to see this content” from the dropdown box you’ll be penalized by the Facebook algorithm.

 

#3 Individual user behavior will dictate what Facebook users see in their newsfeed.

The survey was very clear about one fact: Facebook users did not want to miss important updates from their friends. Now, they will be deciding on what you see based on which users you engage with the most.

How will this affect your business? If your business followers have their algorithm set to Top Stories (instead of Most Recent), there’s very little you can do to have your business content come up first in their feed.

In essence, they have to like you and share your content to see what your business posts, but if they don’t see what you post (due to the Facebook algorithm), they can’t like you. And this catch-22 isn’t going to improve anytime soon.

How can you really control the Facebook updates on your business page?

Of course, every time Facebook makes changes to their algorithm there’s going to be an adjustment period. We all have to learn how to play the game all over again. Here are a few tips I’ve had personal success with:

  • Stop posting photos and links on your business page
    Facebook is providing more page views to text only posts. Feel free to hashtag your entries to help people find you.
  • Get people to engage with your business page
    Like always, engagement is key. Strive to have users share your content, but liking and commenting are still better than nothing.
  • Share content from your business page to your personal page
    Facebook does not seem to have altered this very simple trick; go onto your business page and share the content onto your personal page.
  • Tag people in your posts to encourage engagement
    One of the best tips may be to let others know when you’re posting their articles. Social authority goes a long way; by sharing your post, they look good to their audience.

Still struggling to figure out Facebook? Our team of experts can help.

Click here to subscribe to my mailing list and schedule a free consultation!

How LinkedIn Posts Can Change Your Business

Is LinkedIn part of your social media marketing strategy? It should be.

“But LinkedIn is for posting resumes and looking for jobs,” you may say. Once upon a time that was the case, but that time has passed. The executives at LinkedIn are broadening their horizons, and that’s good news for you.

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For a few months now, LinkedIn has been rolling out a new feature on its site to all of its users: the ability to post content. It started with people who qualified as “Influencers” but has recently been expanding, and will continue to expand, to include all users.

So what?

How does that affect you?

It means you have another opportunity to showcase your expertise in your industry by posting educational information that can point traffic to your website. (You may remember from my previous post that traffic is more important than links. If somebody visits your website based on a post you wrote on LinkedIn, you’ve got a potential lead!)

If you’re a consultant, you can flex your business savvy. If you’re an author, you can showcase your talent. If you’re a business owner, you can share your knowledge of the industry. In each case, you have the opportunity to present yourself as an expert and potentially reach new connections on a new platform.

How does that affect your social media marketing?

The ability to post on LinkedIn affects a few aspects of your social media marketing. First of all, it changes the utility of LinkedIn from a primarily networking and recruiting platform to a marketing platform. It will remain a place online to learn more about applicants, but in order to make the most of it, you’ll need to visit the site more often and write unique posts with marketing in mind.

Secondly, it makes all of your employees marketers. If they have a profile that shows they work for your company, then their posts can be marketing tools to point traffic to your company website. Employees have long been a reflection of the companies they work for, now even more so.

Thirdly, it means there is another site that needs unique content for marketing. If you’re keeping tally at home, here are all the social media sites that need to have content created for them:

  • Company blog
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Podcast
  • LinkedIn

Before you throw your hands up in the air in frustration, keep this in mind. Each of these sites has a unique audience with different leads who could turn into customers. That should help to keep you motivated and nudge you to write your first LinkedIn post.

How does posting on LinkedIn benefit your business? 

write blog postWe’ve already talked about how LinkedIn has a new audience for you to wow with industry insights and about how it can point traffic to your business website. Those are fantastic benefits in and of themselves. But there’s more, too.

In the past, when someone viewed your profile on LinkedIn, they would see your background experience first. Now, your posts appear at the top of the profile. That means your industry insights are seen before your resume is. It’s more relatable and valuable in the long run. Just because somebody holds a certain title does not mean they are good at what they do. By providing first-hand industry knowledge, your posts give you the opportunity to show people how your business and expertise can help them.

For example, if you’re a consultant who specializes in employee relations, a resume that shows your years in human resources at a hospital will be less helpful for your business than a post about successfully dealing with conflict in the workplace.

Unlike other social media sites, LinkedIn automatically shows you the publishing metrics for your posts. In other words, the site tells you how many people looked at your post. Knowing what people want to read is incredibly helpful as you plan what to write in the future.

7 Tips for posting on LinkedIn 

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  1. Use an image at the beginning of the post. An image captures attention at a glance and makes the reader want to know more… or least read to title to see if they want to know more.
  2. Beware of duplicate content. If you’re already thinking to yourself, “I’ll just post stuff I’ve written on my blog to my LinkedIn profile” you’ll need to come up with a new plan. Duplicate content like that actually hurts your website when it comes to search engine rankings. Unique content is your best bet.
  3. LinkedIn has explicitly stated that no sales oriented content will be allowed. Just like search engines want to provide the best results, LinkedIn wants to provide the best reader experience. That, and they want to make the most of paid advertising opportunities.
  4. Include calls to action. You can’t post sales content, but you can tell readers to check out your company website where they’ll learn all about your products and services. The call to action can also be to encourage readers to read a specific blog post on your company site. Remember: the goal is qualified traffic that will become leads.
  5. Business hours are the best time to publish. Unlike other social media sites that tend to focus more on entertainment, LinkedIn’s focus is business. As a result, your posts are more likely to be read if they’re posted during business hours.
  6. Keep your audience in mind while you write. LinkedIn has a different audience than Twitter or YouTube. Focus on industry insights rather than pop culture gossip.
  7. Keep your profile up to date. Even though your posts are at the top of the profile, inquiring minds will want to know more about the author of the post. Make sure your information is current.

Don’t think of LinkedIn as another item on your to-do list; think of it as another opportunity to find leads. If you need some help, let us know.

9 Social Media Management Checklists

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Managing everything that has to be done for social media marketing can be overwhelming. It’s important that you have a way to ensure that you cover all the bases. Each social media marketing platform needs its own individual plan, but this overview checklist can help you identify what you need to create an effective social media marketing plan on any network.

Develop Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

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  • Know Your Audience  — Depending on the particular product you’re promoting your audience might be slightly different. For instance, if you are promoting a membership program you may only be marketing it to those who have purchased your book. Understand exactly who the audience is before you begin.
  • Study Your industry & know the Influencers — Understanding everything you can about your industry is imperative in making any social media marketing strategy work. Identify key influencers
  • Identify Your Competition — Don’t let competition frighten you. In fact, if you think you have no competition it should make you question whether or not you have a viable product or service. Keeping tabs on your competition can only make you better.
  • Define Social Media Networks / Platforms — Based on the knowledge you have about your audience, your industry and competition you should be able to identify particular social media networks and platforms to implement your marketing program.

Identify Your Resources & Budget

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  • Staff — Do you have people in your organization now who can step up and assist with your social media marketing plan implementation?
  • Contractors — Do you  know of contractors who can assist in these endeavors? If you don’t know any, ask colleagues. Make a list of experts who can help you.
  • Software — What type of software might you need to help you with organizing, planning & implementation of your marketing plan?
  • Dollars — How much money can you devote to your marketing plan?
  • Time — Many people discount the cost of time when making a social media marketing plan. It’s important that you count any time you must invest so that you can decide how to find the time to execute the strategy.

Determine How You Will Manage Social Media Marketing

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  • Social Media Management Software  — There are many different types of software available such as HootSuite.com which can make managing social media a breeze.
  • Virtual & Staff Contractors — Choose the contractors and / or staff who will be responsible for organizing, planning & implementation of your over all social media marketing plan.
  • Online Project Management Systems — Choose a project management system to use to help with implementation. If you already have one, add in social media marketing as a project along with the people who will be responsible for  different tasks.

Develop Campaign Goals & Objectives

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  • Offer & Messaging  — Set up your offers and messaging for each social media platform that you choose to work with.
  • USP — Focus on your unique selling point to help you differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Calls to Action — Don’t skip the calls to action. Every time you submit a message through social media it needs to have a call to action based on the goal of the message.
  • Your Point — Never forget why you’re doing this. The point of the whole thing will depend for each campaign, keep referring back to the point to help you develop your messaging.

Optimize All Content & Marketing Materials

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  • Prepare Marketing Collateral  — Press releases, blog posts, articles, images and more all need to be prepared with each platform, and message that you have in mind. You won’t always want to share the same image on Pinterest that you do on Facebook without some modifications.
  • Optimize Content — Content includes everything mentioned above. Ensure that your titles, the words you use, the benefits you describe, and the pictures you pick relate to your goals, your products, your services and your brand.

Optimize & Improve Online Real Estate

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  • WebPages  — Is your webpage responsive? If not, it’s time to ensure that it is. Responsive design is imperative with social media marketing because most people use their Smartphones to access social media.
  • Blogs — Can your audience read your blog from any device? Just like it’s important to design your website so that everything on there is responsive and works well, the same goes for your blog.
  • Newsletters — If you send out a newsletter is it focused, targeted, relevant, and responsive? Does it focus on providing the customer the education they need to make good choices?
  • Overall Branding — Be consistent across all social media platforms with your brand but also change something up for each social network based on that network’s personality.

Complete & Customize Your Social Media Profiles

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On each platform it’s important that you personalize your profile, optimize images and make the social media unique to that particular platform, but still representative of your brand.

  • Facebook — Tag people & pages. Update daily. Ask for shares, comments & likes. The more engagement you have, the more of your audience will see your updates. Do the same for others in your industry. Try using promoted posts to get more targeted likes.
  • Google + — Add new people to your circles on a regular basis but not all at once. Weekly is best. Host a hangout on a topic in your industry. Attend hangouts on relevant topics. Share & post new content daily.
  • LinkedIn — Connect with new people and related companies each week. Try to set a weekly goal. Ask for recommendations of any one you’ve worked with on a regular basis. Don’t use the auto feature and send a mass request, make it more personal and build your profile and network slowly. Update your status daily.
  • Pinterest — Post examples of your work each week, follow other people’s pin boards, try to add at least one new board a week in a relevant category with at least five pins inside.
  • Twitter — Tweet daily. Retweet daily. Use appropriate #hashtags. Strategically follow new people each day. Don’t follow everyone in one day, adding a few people over a longer period of time is best.
  • Your Blog — Shoot for 20 blog posts a month, share with all your social networks with a unique blub for each network. Ensure that your titles contain relevant keywords in the titles and content of the blog posts.
  • YouTube  — Each week subscribe to at least one new channel related to your industry. Look for relevant videos to share on other social networks weekly. Record short tip videos each week to share with your audience. (Tip: Record your Google Hangouts).

Build Your Social Media Networks

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  • Connect  — You probably already have people that you can connect with on each social media platform you join. Shoot for about 25 connects/followers/likes etc… to start with and then build on that each week.
  • Engage  — Understand social media etiquette for each network you choose to post on.  Be professional, make it about them, and seek to be a resource. The more you make it about them, and building relationships, the better social media will work for your business marketing.
  • Share — Don’t just share your own work, share other people’s work that is relevant to your industry and audience. Always remember the audience, ask yourself “Is this relevant to my audience?” If yes, share, if not don’t.
  • Recommend — It might seem counterintuitive to recommend other businesses, products, and services to your audience but the truth is, sometimes someone else will be better for the job. If you recommend good people, they will return the favor.
  • Build Expertise & Credibility — Share original content, relevant studies, books, webinars, and more with your audience when related. By adding in your own content and comments about the things you share you will build up your expertise. By sharing only relevant and screened information you build your credibility.

Monitor Your Metrics

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  • Engagement Level  — Before starting with metrics you should know your objective and have a way to measure that objective. Using a tool like HootSuite.com can help you measure engagement on a whole new level.
  • Customer Satisfaction — Are your customer’s satisfied once they convert? If you’re not sure, try asking them using social media.
  • Calls to Action Effectiveness — Are your calls to action working and producing the results you expect? If you’re getting results but not what you expected try testing other ideas to see what works best.
  • Feedback  — Always ask for feedback from movers and shakers and experts as well as your contacts, friends, followers, and likes. Let them lead the way and you won’t be disappointed in the results.
  • Other  — Any objective that you have should be reflected in a metric that you can monitor. Objectives are always exact and measurable.

 

Using this checklist to help set up your social media marketing plan can help you remember what’s important and avoid missing relevant ideas.

How Your Competitors Get Ahead of You…

You’re a smart person.

You have a business.  You have a successful business.  You have overcome challenges and learned what works and what does not.

Now is not the time to stop. Now is not the time to get comfortable.

Every day your competitors are advancing and if you do nothing, your business will left behind.

consistency road sign illustration design  

1. Constant, strategic change.

It is not the greatest, the smartest, the biggest company that is the most successful.  It is the fastest to implement. Money loves speed.  There are a million great ideas out there.  What matters is who is the fastest to market.

2. Consistent, strategic presence.

According to Business Daily News the average American spends 8 hours per week checking their email, 7 hours a week on Facebook, and 5 hours a week on Youtube.  This does not include searching for things on Google, reading the news, or any of the other myriad of activities done online.  When your prospects are online, whose ads do they see? Whose videos do they watch? Whose press releases do they read? Whose emails are they getting in their inbox each week? Your competitors are everywhere online.  Are you?

3. Compelling, strategic plan.

Your competitors have a plan.  They have a specific strategy on how to grow their business each year.  They have laid out what it takes to increase their market share each quarter.  What this means is that unless you too have a compelling strategic plan that you put into action, your competitors are going to be stealing away your clients each year. strategy2  

5 ways to keep up with the competition!

1. Study your Competitors and look for disruptions in the marketplace.

A disruption in the marketplace is an event such as a change in leadership, quarterly profit loss, or other significant event that could affect your competitors ability to service their clients effectively.  If you can identify a disruption, then that is your opportunity! One easy way to study your competitor is by setting a Google Alert on your competitors.  With a Google Alert you can always be notified immediately when your competitor publishes ANYTHING on the web.  Did they just submit a press release to launch a new product or service? You can know about it instantaneously! Step1-5competitors

2. Improve your online presence.

One way to stay ahead of your competitors is to make sure your company is everywhere your prospect is.  Content creation and content marketing is essential to make sure your competitors don’t leave you behind.  When working with clients of ours at StartRankingNow.com, I use a step-by-step process to figure out where clients should start with their content marketing strategy.  Basically if they have not passed “a”, they cannot go on to “b”.  Some of the things I look at are:
  • Blog and Social Media – Posting to your blog at least 2-4 times per week if not more and posting daily to the main social networks.
  • Email Marketing – Capturing emails and following up with the leads strategically by sending out 3-5 sales emails to new subscribers.
  • Content Marketing – Publishing new content such as Press Releases, infographics, guest blog posts, podcasts, interviews, ebooks, pictures, and much much more.  Create and publish 1-4 new high quality pieces of content each month.
strategy

3. Create a strategic plan.

It is not enough to just DO.  There must be a reason and purpose and plan behind everything you put into action online.  For example let’s say you have 4 core products that you want to promote throughout the year.  It is not enough to promote your business.  You need to promote each of the products strategically.  You need to create a plan.  A marketing funnel that will drive traffic, capture leads, and convert sales. make-things-happen There is a saying that goes: If you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time. This is what goes on in a lot of businesses.  The business owner is so involved in just trying to get through the day to day stuff. They are busy working in their businesses not realizing that every day their competition is gaining new territory.  Before they know it, the phone stops ringing and it is only then that they decide to take a look at marketing. Don’t let the phone stop ringing. Are you ready to create a strategic plan for your business?  Isn’t it about time your brand was the one showing up all over the internet, and not your competitors?
  1. Click here to apply for a complimentary strategy session.
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Avoid Pinterest Marketing Frustration with These 11 Tips

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As a virtual pinboard, Pinterest offers the ability to upload, share, and “pin” images to your bulletin boards, also known as pinboards. From the very first day of using the site, users have found an immediate obsession to the site due the various uses and images they are able to save. There are benefits to Pinterest for both general users looking for some inspiration, as well as business owners who want to further their influence.

On Pinterest 

Plan Ahead 

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When you first open your account you probably have a lot of ideas, but take your time. You want to hold some things back and time your pins to go out on a regular basis. You don’t want to overwhelm your followers. But, you want to keep putting things in front of your audience too. Therefore, take the time to plan out how you are going to infiltrate the Pinterest community with your creative and informative boards and pins.

If you have it planned out before you start, it will be easier to stick to a plan of action. Slow and steady wins the race. You don’t want to just pin in bursts of energy every month or two, you want to do a little every single day. Plus, you want what you do to be highly focused and relevant to your audience. That will take some work. 

 

Be Relevant 

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There is no point putting up boring pins that no one cares about. Make sure that every board you create, and every pin you add to a board has a purpose and is interesting to your audience. If you keep your audience in mind with every creation you make, you’ll become very influential among your audience.

While you’re being interesting it’s also important to be informed about your niche. If you don’t understand your niche well enough, it will be hard for you to go from zero to influential on Pinterest. Take the time to learn your subject matter, check the veracity of information before you share, and don’t be afraid to disagree with popular people based on that research. If you’re informed and interesting, you’re bound to become influential too. 

 

Make Your Boards to Stand Out 

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Most people follow certain boards over following an entire profile, so if you heavily promote each board that you create you’ll get more followers. When one board starts showing more promise than the others, promote it even more. As you get more followers for a specific board, you’ll have an opportunity to get them to follow your entire profile.

As a board gets more popular it’s kind of like a snow ball rolling down hill. The momentum gets faster, and the ball gets heavier so it collects more snow and grows faster. Your boards are like that. If one is getting a lot of attention, share and promote it even more than you did before. Plus, add to it more than you do the other less popular boards. Any board that is getting a lot of attention, if you’ve defined the subject of the board well, will give you more ideas for creating even more popular boards.

 

Choose The Right Influencers 

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You want to ensure that the people you follow also have access to the same audience that you are trying to attract. You can get a lot of insight into your audience by following others who share your audience. You might not want to follow direct competitors, but you might decide that you can differentiate yourself enough that it doesn’t matter. A lot of competitors collaborate on Pinterest with group boards, and it works out lovely for them.

To start with, you can simply follow people, and invite people who already follow you on other social media accounts. You can also announce your new Pinterest account to your blog readers and invite them to follow you right away, and you follow them back. You have to get started someplace, but you don’t want to follow a traditional bakery if your audience can’t eat wheat. Be thoughtful with all interactions.

 

Choose Smart Interactions 

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Speaking of being thoughtful with all interactions, remember to really think about your comments before you hit enter. We all love it when people comment on our work, but it can get lame and old to see so many “great jobs”, “beautiful” and other “ata-boys (or girls)”. It’s so much better to give each comment a lot of thought. Say something that really matters. People will appreciate your intelligence and start seeking you out for information.

Creating effective comments that draw attention to you without being obnoxious takes some practice. Try this method: Complement, critique or add to, and back it up. So if someone posts something about Sugar Free Bran Muffins, you might say something like: “Those look delicious, I’m going to try them, but I think I’m going to add pureed dates and Stevia in place of the NutraSweet.” For a nice touch you could tag someone who will find that interesting who is an influential person in that niche.

 

Call Out Others

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As mentioned above, it’s nice to tag others who are relevant in the niche when you make a comment. It’s a great way to get more attention to a comment. When you comment, call out others by name because when you mention people on Pinterest you’ll attract their attention and they may follow you. When you tag others using the “@” symbol your comments stand out, get attention, and attracts more followers.

You can do this in comments and on your own boards and pins. You can do it in the pin description or on the comment area. They even offer a drop down of friends when you start typing. This is a great way to get more interest and “name drop”. You can also use #hashtags on Pinterest. By mentioning popular people, words, events, places, and names you’ll attract more followers.

 

Share Others Content, Too 

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Sharing your own boards, pins, and others’ relevant pins is a great way to get attention. Don’t be ridiculous and share everything, but do share anything that your audience would have interest along with a smart comment. By sharing regularly what other people are doing as well as what you are creating, you’ll get known in the Pinterest community for someone who can be trusted for good information.

Do be picky about what you share though. You don’t want to go off your target and attract the wrong audience. Always keep in mind the question of whether or not what you’re about to share has any relevant or interest to the audience you want to influence. If not, don’t share it. If so, share and comment freely. 

 

Shine as a Guest Pinner 

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When you are invited to a group or collaborative board that is relevant to your niche, try to contribute something meaningful to it as soon as possible. By contributing regularly to other boards you’ll up your influence quotient exponentially. Be very particular about what you contribute so that it fits their audience and yours. Think of it kind of like guest blog posting. You want to attract your audience, but you need to fit in with their style.

Create your own collaborative boards and invite influential people who follow you to contribute. Only invite people you trust to collaborate on a board with you. You don’t want someone who is going to post overtly advertorial content or inappropriate content. You can set up guidelines for pinning, and you can also create an open board where people can request to pin to it. All of the above are great ideas.  

 

Outside Pinterest 

Add Pin it Buttons On Your Website and Blog 

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This is a no-brainer when it comes to getting more followers on Pinterest. The easier you make it for people to pin your stuff, the easier it is for people to follow you. It’s easy to do too. You simply use a plugin for WordPress or grab the code from Pinterest to create pins and widgets to add to your website.

Don’t just put the “pin it” buttons and follow widgets in one spot on your website or blog. Put them in multiple prominent places so that your visitors will have no reason not to pin it. In fact, ask your audience to pin your blog posts and information within as your call to action. People will do it if you ask them to.

 

Add the Profile Widget to Your Website 

8-widget

Most people like to just follow boards and pins, but adding the profile widget to your website gives people the option to follow everything you do. They may click on it to see what else you have to offer if you’ve done a good job with your blog post and website to attract them to it. You can add these buttons and widgets to all of your online real-estate for best results.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a product, a service, or an infographic, adding the buttons and widgets will encourage more sharing and more following. You want to make it as simple as possible for your audience to find you and engage with you in the manner they want to. The follow widget gets people to look at your Pinterest page rather than just one of your boards. 

 

Connect Your Social Media and Cross Promote with Ease

social-media-mistakes

You can connect other social media accounts directly to Pinterest, which is a great way to attract your followers from those social media sites. There are a lot of ways to do this with plugins and social media management apps. 

By connecting everything together you can cross promote with ease. However, this can become tiring to those followers who follow you everywhere. So, don’t forget to also do some promoting specific to each social media network. You don’t want the exact same thing on all of them or you’re missing the point.

10 Common Google+ Branding Mistakes

Missing-the-goal

One of the most surprising facts about Google+ branding mistakes is the number of people who still make them!

Here are ten of the most common – and most often repeated…

 

Posting sporadically

It doesn’t matter if you made twelve posts last week:  If this week you’re so busy that you forgot to update your company Google+ page completely you’re going to come off as unreliable. Worse, people who had been enjoying “the conversation” will feel suddenly let down.

Keep them waiting too long – or repeat “feast or famine” posting too many times – and you will actually lose followers.  And hurt your brand.

 

Not paying attention to search engine results

search-resultsIf you stop and run searches for your keywords and competitors, you may be surprised to realize how many top spots are held by those with Google+ Profiles and Pages – and how these show up. Besides, if you don’t take advantage of Google+ branding opportunities yourself, you are ignoring the power of graphics and photos in boosting credibility and capturing interest.

 

Posting empty links

What’s an empty link post? It’s one that does not include a comment and the title seems irrelevant to your followers. Provide your readers a reason why the link you are sharing is important or at least the topic of the article or the title of video.

 

Forgetting to include calls to action

targetThis is something you see time and time again – it’s not unique to Google+, but to all social media channels.  Nevertheless, it’s included here because so many companies seem to make this really inexplicable mistake.

Include calls to action:

  • In your Google+ Page posts
  • On your website and blog
  • With your Google+ badges and icons
  • In your Google+ ‘About’ section

Forgetting to install Google+ badges

This one is really inexcusable.  If you don’t make it easy for your followers, they won’t bother to share and engage – it’s as simple as that. Only slightly less understandable is installing a Google+ badge on your website – and not including a G+1 button so people can endorse your posts.

 

Copying your competitors

It’s great to analyze what works for them on Google+. Just make sure you put equal time into figuring out why. If you take those extra steps to get to the bottom of what seems to be obvious, it will be easier for you to apply critical thinking to your own brand strategies on Google+.  You’ll grow surprisingly good at knowing what you are doing, what your audience is craving – and why your strategies are going to work.  (And that’s most likely what your successful Google+ competitor actually did.)

 

Forgetting to test and track

Most people don’t actually forget this. The real excuse is usually ‘I’m just too busy!’ If you genuinely are – or you have trouble applying and understanding metrics – it’s worth outsourcing this to a social media expert. Just make sure you have regular meetings while they explain your results – and make recommendations that reap good results when later implemented.

 

Not having a clear Google+ strategy

5 - Strategy

You will get much stronger and better-branded results if you put preparation and study into what your strategies are going to be.  (Also give yourself a time frame in which to implement them.) Pick one area in Google+ and make it your central platform (but don’t neglect the others). For example, become known for your company’s amazing Hangouts; or brilliantly unique blog posts; or gorgeous, sumptuous original photographs that prompt spontaneous sharing.

Just make sure that whatever you decide to become known for, it is relevant to your business, your products or services, your company’s areas of service or expertise – and, above all, your followers.

 

Not making use of branding keywords or Google+ hashtags

You’d think people wouldn’t forget these two very basic essentials.  But apparently they do – all the time.

Hashtags (unlike comments) definitely increase your searchability and rank.  And keywords provide the foundation.  (Another big no-no:  Forgetting to use actual keywords in your hashtags!)

 

Forgetting to acknowledge, thank or just plain talk with your followers

commentsYes, this happens on other social networks too – but it’s never excusable.  And it’s a sure-fire way to ensure that people quickly stop trusting you.  They’ll simply lose interest.

Finally, remember that everything you do online affects your company brand.  If you are focused on your audience, know your business mission and goals, use the unique and exciting tools provided on Google+ and – most of all – have made a strong commitment to build your brand through excellent service – and content – you will be well on your way to Google+ branding success.