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 

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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

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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.

Top 10 Social Media Mistakes

 

social-media-mistakes

Social media is like a conversation, but instead of talking to one person, you’re talking to thousands. In real life, when a conversation goes well, the other person walks away feeling like they like you more, like they trust you more, and if it’s a business context, they might walk away feeling like they’ll do business with you in the future.

Unfortunately, the opposite can also happen. People can walk away feeling like you didn’t understand them, that you weren’t looking out for them or that they don’t want to do business with you after all.

That’s exactly how social media works. If you do it right, you can make a fantastic impression on thousands of people. They can end up turning into buyers as well as referring their friends. They can end up hosting lively discussions about your products and becoming your brand’s ambassadors.

On the other hand, if you do it wrong, the opposite can happen. People can leave and never come back. People can bad mouth you. People can influence their friends not to buy or link to you.

So how do you create the former impression and not the latter? By avoiding common social media mistakes. Here are ten of the top social media mistakes to avoid.

Mistake #1: Not Proofreading

When you post on your own Facebook feed, typically you just come up with an idea and post it. The same goes for all your other social networks. You don’t have another person look over it to double check your posts.

That’s fine for personal social networking, but not for building a brand or a business. Let’s face it: When you write this spontaneously, there’s going to be mistakes. Maybe not in every tweet or update, but even one in ten is enough to do harm.

It might be misspellings. It might be something off brand that you didn’t realize was off brand. It might be a message that could alienate a part of your audience. It could just be bad grammar.

As the writer, it’s very hard to catch these things yourself. Have someone else look over your posts before they go live. It could just be a co-worker or a friend. You don’t need a professional proofreader, just get a second set of eyes.

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Mistake #2: Not Claiming Your Profiles

Did you know that on many services, profiles can be created for your business by someone other than you? This can happen on Google Places, Yelp and Facebook just to name a few. Other people create your page for you so they can comment on your business.

If you haven’t claimed your business pages, you’re essentially letting the conversation run rampant. Wrong information, like wrong hours of business for example, can be put on the page. The page will also likely be incomplete. It might not have your website, your phone number or other important details.

Claiming your page is easy. Generally all you need to do is take a phone call at your registered number to verify that you are who you say you are. The whole process takes just minutes.

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Mistake #3: Not Using Monitoring Tools

Being able to monitor everything that people say about your brand manually can prove quite difficult and time consuming. There will be times when you’re extremely busy and just won’t have the time to check your social media for days. Twitter especially is incredibly difficult to monitor because of the high volume of tweets.

If you just let people talk about your brand without carefully monitoring what they say, a lot of damage can be done. If one of your employees trips up and makes a mistake, people could start talking negatively about your brand instantly – And it can spread quickly.

What’s the solution? Use social media monitoring tools like http://www.twilert.com, for example. These tools will watch for specific keywords, like your brand name or your product names and alert you whenever someone says something about you.

You can then take a look at what they’re saying. If it’s something negative, you’ll be able to respond immediately to quench the fire. If not, you can still jump in and participate in the discussion.

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Mistake #4: Over Promotion

Constantly selling, selling and selling is not the path to success on social media. Social media is all about connections. It’s all about creating content that people love so much that they want their friends to see it too.

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People who focus on making direct sales instead of joining in the conversation are looked at with disdain. They’re treated as if they’re from outside the community, trying to leech value from those inside. People stop sharing your content, stop reading your content and will generally stop following your content.

It’s okay to sell every once in a while. But the overall tone of your feed or page should not be salesy. The overall tone should be a conversation. You should generally be providing value. Don’t over sell.

 

Mistake #5: No Calls to Action

On the flip side, you have businesses that don’t have any calls to action at all. Though this mistake isn’t as bad as over promoting, it’s still a serious mistake.

If you have no calls to action, you aren’t going to get people involved with your site or your business. Your Twitter followers will forever just be your Twitter followers, your Facebook fans your Facebook fans. They’ll never turn into subscribers, contest participants, customers or seminar attendees.

Yes, you absolutely want to avoid over promoting. But not promoting at all is also going to kill your business. If you want a positive ROI from you social media efforts, you need to occasionally leverage the goodwill you’ve built.

When you do so, make sure even your commercial offerings come from a place of value. You’re offering solutions to problems, though these solutions do cost money. 5-Call-to-Action

 

Mistake #6: The “I Don’t Have 1,000,000 Fans” Syndrome

People who’re starting new fan pages or new Twitter accounts often get discouraged when their rate of growth isn’t astronomical. You hear stories of people “going viral” on the web all the time. Because of these stories, people often have unrealistic expectations of what their Twitter or Facebook campaigns can realistically do.

Going viral is a one in a million occurrence. It’s rare and neigh impossible to plan for. Most people who go viral never expected it to happen, and most people who plan to go viral never actually make it.

The real success stories in social media tend to be the stories you never hear. You never hear about the page with 500,000 followers that took 3 years to build. You never hear about the Twitter account that brings in $25,000 a month but took 3 hours a day every day for the last 18 months to build.

The reality is, building a social media following takes work and dedication. If you get discouraged because you don’t have a million followers right out of the gate, you’ll never reach that tipping point.

Starting small is to be expected. Everyone starts small. Building a social media following doesn’t happen from an explosion of traffic – It happens through consistency.
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Mistake #7: Checking Every Media, All the Time

Did you know that social media can actually change your brain chemistry? In Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows,” a 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist book, he examines the intricacies of how the internet and social media affects the brain.

What he found was that social media is actually addictive. Not as an analogy or as a metaphor, but biologically, physically addictive. Social media users exhibited the same brain chemistry changes in their brain as actual addicts. The brain of a social media addict craves the same dopamine bursts that a cocaine addict’s would crave.

This inherent addictiveness of social media is the reason so many people get sucked in. To run a good social media campaign, you really only need to spend 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the evening and maybe 30 minutes in the middle of the day.

Yet people regularly spend all day checking Facebook, Twitter and email. Some people check it every 10 minutes. Some people check it every hour. Some people just keep it on all the time.

Not only is this unnecessary, but it actively damages your productivity. Spending hours and hours on social media will suck up your time, distract you from the rest of your business and hurt you in the long run.

Be deliberate about when you check social media and when you post to it. Avoid it when you’re not deliberately using it to move your business forward.

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Mistake #8: Not Asking for Interaction

One common mistake social media marketers make is communicating one-way. If you’re only communicating one-way, your social media efforts are only going to go so far. Even if you’re sharing fantastic content, people just won’t be as engaged as if you solicited participation.

When you solicit participation, you get people to actively become a part of your social media experience. Here are a few different ways you can solicit participation:

  • Ask a thought provoking question.
  • Ask for feedback on an article, product or service.
  • Start a controversial discussion.
  • Host a contest.
  • Ask them a trivia question.
  • Ask for stories.

There are many different ways you can do it. The key is to ask people to actively participate.

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Mistake #9: Not Responding to Messages

Social media marketers sometimes perceive personal messages as a nuisance. They might perceive it as people asking for free advice. They might also feel like their time is being infringed upon. Or they might simply not value building relationships in a one on one fashion. They’re focused on marketing to thousands, not on answering one person’s question.

That mindset is a mistake.

Strong social media fan pages or Twitter accounts are actually built on just a handful of strong connections. If you look at a Twitter account with 50,000 followers, you might find that the majority of those followers actually came from the retweets of just 20 people.

Those 20 people loved the content being put out so much that they became champions for that Twitter feed. They actively helped build it up to what it is today.

The people who ask you questions today will often become your biggest fans tomorrow. When you reach out and help someone one on one, they don’t forget. You can come back six months or a year later and ask for a favor in return and they’ll almost always say yes.

Social media isn’t built by the thousands. It’s built by one real connection at a time. When you respond to private messages, people know you really care. When you ignore them, they’ll generally leave and never come back.

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Mistake #10: Lacking Focus

Your social media feeds should have a purpose. People aren’t following you personally, they’re following your business feeds. They want to improve their lives in some way.

For some, that might be discount codes. For others, it might be entertaining videos. For others, it might be useful content and innovative solutions to problems.

Know what your readers are looking for and give it to them. Your feed should have an overall purpose. Of course, it’s okay to stray a bit from your purpose from time to time. You can share great videos, off the cuff thoughts and tweets from others that you think they’ll like.

But at the core, your social media efforts should have a focus and a purpose. What should people get by following you? What experience do you want people who follow you for 3 months to walk away with?

Figure this out from day one to help you guide your marketing efforts.

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Klout Guide – How to Increase Your Online Influence

video_guide

Klout is an online social influence measurement tool. Using Klout, you can get a rough sense for how powerful someone’s social media influence is, as well as to some extent their real world influence. Klout supports all major social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

Klout crawls your popularity whether you want it to or not. However, by signing up for Klout, you can make sure it links all your social media accounts and knows what your interests are so it can more accurately measure and publish your influence.

Why Your Klout Score Matters

1-Klout-InviteWhy does Klout score even matter? Does it actually affect you in any material way?

The answer is yes.

Klout is often used as a discovery tool. If someone is looking for an expert in a certain field, they might hop online and look for someone with a high Klout score in that arena. That could mean speaking gigs, business deals, invitation to events and so on.

Here’s an example of where Klout has intermingled with real life, as reported by The Next Web.

More importantly, people often use Klout to research people they’re considering working with. For example, if you reach out to a potential joint venture partner, they might look you up on Klout to see if you’re a credible person.

Klout isn’t just an online popularity contest. It’s a versatile research tool that other people use to make real decisions about working with you.

How Are Klout Scores Measured?

Klout scores are based on a 90 day running average. The algorithm is highly complex and proprietary, though you can read a reverse engineered version of the algorithm here.

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Primarily, Klout looks at:

  • Facebook likes
  • Number of comments your Facebook posts get
  • Mentions of you on Facebook
  • Shares of your posts on Facebook
  • Twitter retweets
  • Twitter followers
  • Twitter @mentions
  • Google+ +1s
  • Google+ reshares
  • LinkedIn Connections
  • LinkedIn recommenders

In short, they take into account a number of different social media signals and combine them all into one Klout score.

Klout not only measures these factors in absolutes, but also assigned different weight to different likes and retweets. For instance, a retweet from a well known celebrity is going to weigh more than a random person. Likewise, a retweet from someone who doesn’t retweet often is going to be worth more than a retweet from someone who retweets something a couple dozen times a day.

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Adding in Real World Influence

Klout also has a mechanism for tracking your real world influence. This came about after Klout came under fire for ranking numerous bloggers as more influential than Barack Obama. Since bloggers were highly active on the social sphere, many of them did receive more tweets and likes than the President of the United States. However, by most anyone’s standards, the President has more influence than just about any blogger.

Because of this controversy, Klout implemented a Wikipedia scanning mechanism that allows Klout to gauge the importance of a person’s Wikipedia article. The more important their Wikipedia article, the more important that person is in real life.

With this added change, the President now ranks as the most influential person on Klout.

4-Top-Influencers

Sorting by Topics

One of the most important features in Klout is its ability to sort influencers by topics. After all, you rarely need to know who the most influential people in the world are. But it can make a big difference to figure out who the most influential people in your space are.

You can use this section to find potential business partners, potential speakers and people who you want to aspire to built connections with.

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Are you on Klout yet? If not, now might be the time to take a look at your Klout profile, check out your Klout score and look for ways to give your profile a boost.

Getting Started with Klout

Signing up for Klout is a very streamlined process. It’s clear that Klout’s creators put a lot of attention into making sure there are no unnecessary steps in the Klout signup process. Because Klout is a social network based service, you sign up (and sign in) with Klout through an existing social network profile. There is no option to sign up via email.

Then you just give Klout a little bit of information to help them rank you and make you more discoverable. Here’s a step by step walkthrough of the Klout setup process.

Step 1: Choose Twitter or Facebook

Start by choosing whether you want to connect your Klout account with your Twitter profile or your Facebook profile.

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Step 2: Authorize

Authorize whichever account you chose to access your personal data.

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Step 3: Invite Friends

Invite your friends if you want, or leave this step for later!
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Step 4: Choose Topics You’re Influential About

Klout with give you a list of topics they think you might be influential about. If you hover your mouse over any of those topics, the “Add” button will appear. Click the “Add” button to add the topic.

4-Choose-Topics-You're-Influential-About

Step 5: Connect More Accounts

If you have more social media accounts, you can connect them in this step. Just click “Connect” next to each account you want to connect, then click “Continue” once you’re finished.

5-Connect-More-Accounts

You’ll have to grant access to each network that you want to use.

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Step 6: Changing Your Description

Your description appears directly under your name, picture and Klout score in your profile. If you’re connected to a Twitter account, the description will be pulled from your Twitter description. If you’re connected to a Facebook account, this will be blank by default.

8-Profile-Example

To change your description, go to “Settings” in the upper right corner.

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Then fill out the “About” field.

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That’s all there is to it! Your Klout profile is setup and ready to go. You’ve got your accounts, your topics and your profile all setup.

Understanding Your Klout Score and Profile

At first glance, Klout can be a little overwhelming. There’s data everywhere, different kinds of feeds, different people and different categories. How do you make sense of all the data available to you?

Here’s everything you need to know about making sense of your Klout profile.

Step 1: Your Klout Dashboard

The first screen you see when you log in is your Klout dashboard. This dashboard has your Klout score, links to your social media profiles and your latest social media interactions all in a feed. Your dashboard is visible only to you and not the public.

1-Dashboard

Step 2: Your Score History

To learn more about your Klout score, just take a look at the right side of the screen.
The first choice is the “90-Day Score History” where you’ll see your score changes. This is a great indicator of whether your influence is increasing or decreasing.

2-Show-Score-Summary
The second choice is “Network Breakdown” where you can see what percentage of your influence comes from your different social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc).

 4-Influence-Distribution

Under that you have a more specific breakdown of your stats, your “Score Activity”.

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Step 3: Add Topics

Adding topics you’re influential about allows Klout to rank you in those topics. If you don’t add yourself, even if you’re an expert in that topic, you’re not going to get the benefit of being ranked in Klout’s top influencer lists for that topic.
You can manually choose which topics you want to add by going to “See More” in your profile, then clicking “Manage your Topics” and then If you want, “Add a Topic.”

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Step 4: Understanding Klout Profiles

A Klout profile consists of a few main parts. First, you have their name and “About” section. This gives you their Klout score, links to other social media profiles and a short blurb about them.

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Then, you have the person’s “moments.” These are the social media updates posted by that person that got the most activity over the last 90 days.

 10-Moments

To check out who your (or anyone else’s) top influencers are, just look to the left sidebar. Your top influencers will be sorted by Klout score.

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Step 5: Perks

Perks are special benefits given to people with certain Klout scores. For example, a mobile phone company might give free phones to people with Klout scores above 85 in hopes that they might blog or tweet about the phone.

To access the perks that you qualify for, click “Perks” on the top right menu.

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Browse the various perks that you qualify for. If you find a perk you’d like to claim, just click “Claim This Perk!”

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Step 6: Friends and Lists

To see your friends’ Klout score, click “Friends” from the upper left menu.

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You can sort your friends by alphabetical order or by Klout score by clicking the respective sorting options along the top. You can choose to view your Facebook OR Twitter friends!

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Step 7: Lists

Lists make it easy for you to divide your friends into different categories. For example, you can sort your business friends from your hiking friends from your favorite bloggers. This makes it easy for you to track Klout scores and Klout profiles for all the different kinds of people in your life.

To create a new list, click “Create a New List” on the left hand side of your “Friends” page.

On the left, add the people you want on the list to your list. On the right, give your list a name and a description.

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Once you’ve saved your lists, you can come back anytime and just click on one of your lists on the left to see everyone who’s in that list.

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These are the most important features Klout has to offer. You now know how to see all your posts, your most influential posts, to see how your Klout score was broken down as well as your growth over time, how to use perks and how to sort your friends.

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Top 10 Tips for Improving Your Klout Score

There’s a lot you can do to deliberately improve your Klout score. After all, Klout is an influence measuring tool – But it is based primarily on online factors. If you can change those online factors, your Klout score will rise accordingly.

It’s important to keep in mind that your Klout score is a 90 day running average. That means that even if you execute all these tips perfectly, it’s going to take some time before your score reflects your new level of online activity. Treat it more like a marathon and less like a sprint.

Tip #1 – Create Content People Want to Share

There are a lot of tactics you can use to boost your influence. But at the end of the day, your influence depends on whether or not people want to share your content. The best way to make people want to share your content is to create content that’s worthy of sharing in the first place.

Spend more time on your content than on your marketing. Great content gets shared naturally, while poor content is hard to get shares even with great marketing.

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Tip #2 – Start a Controversial Discussion

Klout doesn’t actually measure how much people like you or how much they measure your content. They measure activity. The more people commenting, sharing, liking, retweeting or @mentioning you, the higher your Klout score is going to be.

One great way to boost your Klout score then is to have very controversial discussions. This will get a lot of people talking to you and about you, which in Klout’s book is the same thing as credibility.

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Tip #3 – Use Social Media as Your Community Hub

A lot of people try to create their own community hub by starting a new forum on their website. This can be incredibly difficult, as forums are notoriously difficult to populate.

On the other hand, making a Facebook group or a specific Twitter hashtag for your audience is a fantastic way to build a community. You don’t need a ton of posters to make it seem active. In fact, just a couple posts a day is enough to make it seem like an active community.

Best of all, all that activity on your social media profile is going to help give your Klout profile a strong boost.

3-Discussions

Tip #4 – Use Social Media to Launch Big News

Launching a contest? Announce it by social media instead of email. Launching a new video? Tell people about it on social media first. New product launch? Again, use social media to get people excited and to tell them about the news.

People love talking about things that are new. There’s going to be more energy around your product when you launch it than at any other point in its lifecycle. There’s going to be more energy around a video launch than it’ll ever have at a later time.

Leverage this energy by getting people to talk about it on social media. That’ll help give your Klout score a nice big boost.

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Tip #5: Jump In On Popular Hashtags

When you’re participating in popular hashtag conversions, people are much more likely to @reply you and retweet you. These are two things that Klout looks at a lot to determine Klout score.

Use various hashtracking websites to find these trending hashtags and comment on them. Popular sites include “What The Trend” and hashtags.org.

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Tip #6: Link All Your Social Networks

By default, Klout can only track your main social network. If you don’t link your social network, Klout won’t be able to see how much influence you actually have. Naturally, the more networks you link, the higher your perceived influence.

Link all your social networks, even if you don’t ever really use those networks. That’s right – Link up accounts even if you have few friends and never update them. After all, you can just remove your accounts again if it lowers your score. More often than not however, it’ll give your score a nice boost.

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Tip #7: Ask Your Audience Questions

Again, the goal is to deliberately facilitate as much activity on your social media feeds as possible. One easy and natural way to facilitate that discussion is to ask your audience questions.

Ask questions that people would want to share their opinions about. Give your audience a chance to brag about their ideas. Ask provocative questions, or questions that people would have strong opinions about.

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Tip #8: Do @Mentions Often

When you @mention someone, they’re more likely to see your message and respond back with an @mention. Furthermore, when you @mention someone, they see your name and remember you. They’re more likely to follow you, as well as more likely to recognize you in their Twitter feed.

Using @mentions helps you stand out from all the chatter. It’s not going to immediately boost your Klout score; instead it’ll help you garner more and more attention on the social web. In time, this could make a big difference.

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Tip #9: Connect With Influencers

Connecting with influencers can help boost your Klout score in several ways. First, if an influencer @mentions you in public, that means more people are going to find your feed. More people will follow you, retweet you and get in conversations with you. That means a higher Klout score.

Second, Klout treats different people’s retweets and @mentions with different weight. A highly influential person bears a lot more weight than a person with low influence. If you engage in the social sphere with an influential person, you’re going to get a higher Klout score just from that.

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Tip #10: Build a Name for Yourself Through Multiple Media

The internet isn’t the only place to build your Klout score. In fact, many of the highest Klout score rankers don’t even pay much attention to their social media. Instead, they’re focused on building real world influence.

Focus on expanding your reach not just online, but through every other kind of medium possible. Try to get on radio. Launch your own podcast. Do videos and build a YouTube channel. Speak in public.

Anything you do that raises your public profile will also raise your Klout score.

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These are ten ways to increase your Klout score. Some of these tactics focus on deliberately increasing social engagement, while others focus on actually expanding your reach. Both methods will help give your Klout score the boost you’re looking for.

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LinkedIn Guide For Beginners

LinkedIn Account Signup & Profile

LinkedIn is a great place to connect with like-minded people, from past classmates to potential JV partners, the connections are unlimited. The first step to making the connections is to set up your account and profile so others can find you.

Let’s start by visiting, http://www.linkedin.com to join.

 

Step 1: Account Setup

When you visit the LinkedIn home page, you’ll see this image. Simply fill in the requested information and click the Join Now button. Or sign up with your Facebook account.

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Step 2: Create your professional profile

Add in your country, zip code and if you’re currently employed, seeking a job or a student. Then add your job title and your Company name (if employed), otherwise you will get other options, as add in your college or your last job.

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Step 3: Search via Email Contacts

This step allows LinkedIn to connect with your email account to see which of your email contacts already have LinkedIn accounts. Those that do, you will be able to instantly connect with and those who don’t, you can choose to send an invitation to join.

To do this step, simply enter your email address and click the continue button or click “Skip this step” to go to the next step without connecting with your email account.

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You will be asked to confirm your email address by clicking the link in an email sent to you when you registered.

 

Step 4: Proceed to Profile

From here, you will be presented with a few screens asking you to connect with others. We are skipping these steps so that we can set up our profile first. After all, we don’t want to invite people to view our blank profile.

So when we see this page, we click “Skip This Step”

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Then we get a Congratulations box, with options to Share on Facebook and/or Twitter. Let’s skip this step.

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Step 5: Profile Setup

Once you reach your dashboard, mouse over Profile in the upper navigation and select Edit Profile.

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Here, you’ll see a summary of your profile information and be able to edit each section.

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You can either click the + sign next to each section above to edit the information or scroll down the page and add the information there as shown below. Each section has an explanation for what you should include in it.

Once you finish filling out your information, you can view your profile by clicking Done Editing.

 

Step 6: Contact Settings

The final step before making connections is to set your contact settings. It’s important to do this step or your inbox may be flooded with emails from LinkedIn.

In the top, right-hand corner of your dashboard, mouse over your name and select Settings.

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Step 7: Email Preferences

Now, down on the left side of the screen, click Email Preferences and a box will open to the right with more options as shown below.

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Clicking the options to the right will bring up a new screen for each one allowing you to adjust the settings. Below is the frequency of emails screen.

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Following the same instructions outlined in Step 7, you can also adjust your groups, companies and application settings as well as make more advanced account settings.

Find Connections & Accept Connection Request on LinkedIn

In order to make LinkedIn work for your business, you need to regularly make new connections. This is simple to do and only takes a little bit of time each week.

 

Step 1: Add Connections

From your dashboard, mouse over Contacts and select Add Connections.

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Step 2: Options for Adding Connections

There are two ways to connect to people you already know. The first is to allow LinkedIn to scan your email address book to see which contacts are existing members of LinkedIn.

To do this, simply fill in your email address and password and click Continue.

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It will scan and give you a list of everyone who has a LinkedIn account. Simply select the ones you want to connect with and click the “send invitations’ button.

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You’ll be redirected to your dashboard where you’ll have a new success message.

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If you aren’t comfortable with that or simply prefer to manually enter each person, you can enter the email address of each person you wish to connect with – each address should be separated by a comma. Click the Send Invitations button when you’re ready.

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Once you send the invitations, a new success message will appear at the top of the page.

You can also choose to upload a contacts’ file. You can upload a .csv, .txt or a .vcf.

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Step 3: Accept Connection Requests

When someone wants to connect with you, they will send an invitation to you. When you log into your LinkedIn account, you’ll also have these notices in your inbox. Just click the Accept button for each person you want to connect with and you will have the option to connect immediately or ignore that connection.

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Posting & Viewing Updates in LinkedIn

Now that you’ve made connections, you can post updates to keep people informed of what’s going on in your business. You can also view updates of those you are connected to and post comments to their updates. Here’s how…

 

Step 1: Post Updates

When you visit the LinkedIn home page, you’ll see this image. Simply fill the box with your update and click the Share button. You can choose to send to LinkedIn, LinkedIn and Twitter or your Connections.

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Step 2: View Updates of Connections

Your account will show the most recent updates of those you are connected to. When you log into your account, directly below where you post your own update, you’ll see a list of updates from others.

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Step 3: Like, Comment & Share on Updates

If one of your connections posts an update that you like, you can “like” the update. You can also comment on their by clicking the “comment” link. You can share an update you like with your connections simply by clicking the “share” link.

When commenting, a box will open where you enter your comment. Then you simply click the “comment” button.

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Step 4: Send Messages

Move your mouse to the envelope icon in your dashboard, and click Compose message.

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Enter the email address of the person you want to send the message to or click the icon to select from your contacts.

Your address will automatically populate in the “from” field.

Add a subject, your message and click “send message” as shown below.

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Sending Updates/Tweets to and from Twitter and LinkedIn

When submitting updates to LinkedIn, you can also send these updates. In addition, you can send your tweets to your LinkedIn account as updates. Please note, that in order for this to work, your Twitter account must be set to “public”.

 

Step 1: Add Your Twitter Account

Go to your settings.

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Then, on Profile, click on Manage your Twitter settings.

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Then click on Add your Twitter account.

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A pop-up will open asking you to allow LinkedIn to access your Twitter account. Enter your Twitter information and click Authorize app.

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Step 2: Updating your Twitter status from Linkedin

Now that both accounts are connected, you can update Twitter directly from Linkedin by selecting the LinkedIn + Twitter option when posting a new update in LinkedIn.

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Step 3: Updating your LinkedIn status from Twitter

When you post a new tweet in Twitter, add the #in hashtag to the end of your message. This will ensure your tweet is also added as a LinkedIn update.

A word of caution: Be selective in which messages you send to LinkedIn. Typically speaking, professional business associates don’t want to know what you are had for breakfast.

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