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:

facebook-thinking

#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!

11 Off-Page SEO Rules to Outperform Your Competitors

These are things that will affect your search engine rankings from outside of your web page. These are very important for growing the overall popularity of your site and make it easier for you to rank well for your chosen keyword phrases.

keywords

Create excellent content because it affects the following:

1. How much your content is shared on social media…this provides important clues to search engines about the quality of your content.

2. How long a search engine user stays on your site. If searches on a search engine and finds your site, but clicks back right away, it will tell the search engine that you may not be very relevant for that phrase.

3. How often your content is linked to. If you have good stuff, people will link to it…but beware, search engines can detect quality links, so old self-linking practices are dead.

4. Make sure you have a social media presence and you readily encourage your visitors to share your content on social media. It’s important that you’re being seen all over the web, if you want Google to give you favour.

Ways to ensure you’ve got quality engaging content that attracts users and search engines:

5. Each page should be on one unique topic.

6. Your navigation is clear and all your content is easily found by humans and search engines.

7. Use attention-getting headlines to grab your visitors’ attention and so they know they’re in the right place.

8. Make your content easy to read by using short sentences and paragraphs. Keep your words simple.

9. Break up your copy with subheads and bullet points, so viewers can scan it easily…instead of having them click away.

10. Use images to draw the eye in and tell a story with your content. Humans are visual creatures and photos and other images can help retain their attention.

11. Don’t forget to connect with other website owners in your niche. Friends tend to share the content of others, so this is just a win-win for all of you.

Generate Qualified Leads From Your Website

What would you do if you had a sales rep that month after month took a salary from your company yet week after week after week… they did not generate one single sale?  What if this had been going on for years?  What if not only were they not generating any sales, they were not even generating any leads?  What would you do?

Of course you would fire them!  Without a doubt!

The primary purpose of a sales rep is to generate sales and at the very least to generate some leads!

Yet every month, we pay hosting fees, website maintenance fees, software fees, and much more, to maintain a website whose sole job is to generate sales… yet we do nothing when the website fails to perform.

Is it time to fire your website?  When was the last time your website generated a sale?  A lead?get-more-leads

Sales is all about numbers.  If we know that our closing rate or conversion rate is 5% then we can know that we need a specific number of leads to generate a target revenue.

For example, if you have a product that sells for $100 and you want to generate a monthly revenue of $10,000 then you know that you need to sell 100 units to achieve your revenue goal.  If you know that you can close 5% of the leads, then you know that you will need 2000 qualified leads to be able to close 100 new customers.  This math helps you to determine where you need to focus your efforts to reach your target sales goals.

If you know you need a minimum of 2000 qualified leads per month and your website is only generating 100, that that is the first place to focus your efforts.

So how can you improve your website to capture more leads?

When I work with my coaching clients, one of the first things we do in our coaching calls is to take a look at the website and do a series of 5 minute checks on the basics.  Here are some of the questions I usually ask:

 

Site Review

  1. Is the site visually pleasing?
  2. Is there a clear call to action?
  3. Is there a web form to capture email addresses?
  4. Are there credibility symbols above the fold?
  5. Are there testimonials?
  6. Does the site guide the user to the next step?
  7. Can you easily answer this question: What action do you want them to take?
  8. Does the site allow people to self select different areas of the site based on different market segments?
  9. Is the site converting visitors to leads and leads to sales? Is the conversion rate at least 5%?
  10. If I send more traffic to this page will I get more sales?

Review Character Shows Assess Reviewing Evaluate And Reviews

SEO Site Review

If your site passes the initial Site Review, the next step is to review your site for search engine optimization factors. If you want your site to rank high in the search engines, you will need to have an SEO friendly site.

  1. Does the site have good SEO friendly title tags?
  2. Does the site have well written description tags? (Benefits plus call to action)
  3. Is the url structure of the site static and seo friendly?
  4. Are all pages on the site easy to find and easy to navigate to?
  5. Is there a blog?
  6. Is it linked to Google+?
  7. Are there social media share buttons on the site and the blog?
  8. Is there duplicate content on the site? (Copyscape)
  9. Has the site been penalized for bad links? (Google Analytics / Penguin Analysis)
  10. Is the site using keywords correctly through the site?shutterstock_77500738

 

Blogging Review

The next step is to review your blog!  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. When was the last time the blog was updated?
  2. Are the blog posts written for the readers or are they articles posing as blog posts.
  3. Are people commenting on the blog posts.
  4. Is the blog the central hub for all content creation?
  5. Are there share buttons on each blog post?
  6. Is the time on site greater than 2 minutes?
  7. Is the bounce rate lower than 55%?
  8. Is the click through rate to other pages at least 2?
  9. Has the site been verified in Google+?blog

 

Social Media Review

Social Media is an integral part of an online marketing strategy.  To be able to promote the blog posts that are being written, you must establish an online presence with social media.  In the past, you could get top ranking in the search engines with just “link building”.  This is no longer the case.  Here are some questions to ask yourself about your social media presence:

  1. Does you have a Facebook Fan page, Twitter page, Google+ Page, and LinkedIn Page for their company?
  2. Are your social media accounts well designed with graphics?
  3. When was the last time you updated each of your social media accounts?
  4. What is your Klout score or Kred score?
  5. Are you engaging your market online or are you just talking to them?social media 3

 

Local SEO Review

Do you have a brick and mortar business? Do you have a physical location customers can make purchases at?

  1. Are you on Google Local?
  2. Are you on Yelp?
  3. Do you have a Google Map on your website Contact Us page?
  4. Are you optimizing for Google Local terms? (Geo-modified keywords)
  5. Do you have a system for getting reviews?
  6. Are your public citations SEO optimized and optimized for conversion?brickandmortarbrickandmortarbrickandmortar

 

We have actually created a guide called the 7 Step Gap Guide where not only do I map out the above questions, but also explain how you can work with my company, Start Ranking Now, Inc. to close the gaps!

Subscribe to our Newsletter and Download the 7 Step Gap Guide Now!

 

 

Blogging Tips for Starting a Business Blog

blog ideas

After all the “back-breaking” work of setting up your business blog, it now comes down to the most important reason of having a blog in the first place – getting your content out to the world.

For some, this is an easy process.  For many others however, publishing useful and unique content regularly can be severely daunting.  Distinguishing yourself from other business bloggers takes a bit of understanding of who your core readers are.  Put some time aside to research your audience and find out what they would like to read about. Here are some considerations to bear in mind when publishing your content:

  • Should I make my posts educational, newsworthy, informational, entertaining and debatable or, a combination of all those? 
  • How long should my posts be (this is where getting feedback from your readers comes in)? 
  • Should I consider a blog partnership (getting guest bloggers to write unique content for your blog)? 

The initial excitement of publishing a blog can quickly dissipate when your “content well” starts to dry up.  So where do you turn to for ideas and inspiration to get readers queuing up to read your work?  Well, let’s start with how you can categorize your content in a way that could potentially skyrocket your readership: 

  • The infamous Top 10 lists blog-post
  • How-To information 
  • Reviews 
  • Interview someone within your business niche 
  • Latest trends and newsworthy information 
  • Present relevant business case-studies 
  • Recommend other business blogs that might be of interest to your readers 

But all the above may be rendered useless if you can’t get to a source for inspiration.  So here are some of the best places to visit when you need to get those creative juices flowing:

  • News sites – CNN, Yahoo News, Google News are just some of many News websites available to spark an interesting idea for a blog post.  Dig into News stories and press releases to see what is significant for your blog.  Cast your opinion on it and you’ve just got yourself a new post.  But don’t stop there.

Look for News sites that are specific to your industry as well.  For example, if you’re blogging about finance, head on over to Bloomberg Financial News and get ideas from there.  About.com is another site that covers a gamut of topics that makes for such a great source for content ideas.

  • Online Groups / Social Networking sites / Forums – Message board forums, Facebook Groups and Yahoo Groups are a wealth of information.  Your potential readers and customers could be lurking within these groups, freely exchanging the kind of information a market research company would pay thousands of dollars for.

Don’t ignore forums that are relevant to your industry. Like social networking sites and online groups, forums attract the kind of audience that could be interested in the information you are offering.

  • Social Bookmarking Services– Like social networking sites, social bookmarking services are all the rage today.  These services allow users to rate and recommend topics that are popular with them.  They are a portal into the hottest and latest trends as deemed by public opinion.

Visit sites such as Technorati.com, Delicious, StumbleUpon.com, Reddit.com and Digg.com to get blogging ideas.  While there are a great number of other social bookmarking sites springing up onto the web quite regularly, those are the most referred to by professional bloggers for research.

  • High Traffic Sites – Another fantastic source of blogging ideas can be found at high traffic sites such as Alexa.com, Amazon.com, Ebay.com, Craigslist.org and Wikipedia.org.  A wealth of ideas can be mined just from sifting through these sites’ categories.
  • Article Directories – Article directories offer you the option of re-printing the articles of your choice on your blog.  This can come in handy if you’re having an off day but need something to whet the appetite of your readers.  Even if you don’t intend to publish any of those articles, use them as a source of ideas for writing your next post.

Some of the more popular directories are EzineArticles.com, GoArticles.com and ArticleCity.com.  These articles are free to re-print but, read the terms on these sites on how to go about re-printing them.

  • Some Other Sources – Another idea-generating method is to look out for what people are searching for and decide if you could blog about these search terms. Visit popular sites like Google Zeitgeist and MetaCrawler.com for this purpose. You can use keywords tools like WordTracker.com.

Try searching for ideas using blog search engines as well. Try Technorati.com for potential ideas.

Creative Book Promotion with Facebook

like-image

As an author you want to be as creative as possible when marketing and promoting your book to the public. You want to get started promoting yourself and your book(s) as soon as possible so that you can build a fan base even before you release your book. Even if you’ve already released your book, you can still get moving on Facebook marketing and promotion. Follow these steps.

1. Create an Author Website

No social media accounts can substitute for a well made Author’s website. Your Author’s website will be the hub of all your marketing activities. It will be where your content lives, where you can sell your book(s), show the ways to connect with you online and where your upcoming appearances are. Put a nice headshot on your “About the Author” page, and don’t ever forget to remember your call to action. If you want them to “sign up”, “connect”, “order”, or “download” you’ll need to tell them.

2. Create an Author’s Page on Facebook

Your author’s page on Facebook should be separate from your personal Facebook page. It’s easy to create a new page just sign in to your personal account, then scroll down to Pages on the left, click it, then click “create a page. Choose Artist, Band or Public Figure to make your Author Page.

3. Create a Product Page for Your Book on Facebook

In the same way that you created a new Author Page on Facebook you can also create a product page specific for your book. If you have more than one book you can create a separate page for each book. This will enable you to create better and more focused advertisements for each book that you write and make Facebook marketing and promotion easier.

4.Create a Group Page for Your Book on Facebook

Another fun thing you can do when marketing and promoting your book on Facebook is to create a special Group Page just for your book. A group page is fun because it has more features allowing your audience to communicate with you and each other. You can make a page like this private so that only people who have actually ordered your book know how to join.

5. Create Content to Share

When you have all these different places to promote your book ready you’ll need to create a constant flow of content to attract your fans and potential fans from across the Internet. You can use snippets from your book, share reviews of your book, create a book trailer using video and YouTube.com, and more.  Some content ideas might be to share quotes that you love, articles that you’ve written or that someone else wrote that you enjoyed, photos and videos that are fun or informative are great ideas too.

 

Even as an author you may sometimes run out of ideas on your own to keep the content flowing. If that happens you can actually hire someone to help you, or you can ask other authors to guest post on your blog. You can also ask someone to interview you and put it on your website’s blog. All the content that you create will be shared across all your Facebook real-estate so that you can connect with fans and future fans.

 

If you’d like to know more about Promoting Your Book Using Facebook , then don’t miss our free Webinar on December 12th, “How to Market & Promote Your Book Using Facebook”.

 

[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

5 Ways to Promote Your Book Using Facebook

facebook-thinking
Facebook is one of the most useful resources on the Internet when it comes to marketing anything. But, if you want to market and promote your book on Facebook you’re in luck because Facebook is practically tailor made for just such a thing.

1. Create a Facebook Page for Your Book

That’s right, you want to create a Facebook Page just for your book. It will be under Entertainment. Simply go to home on Facebook, Create Page, and choose Entertainment. Choose Book for category, and then put in the name of your book and agree to the terms and conditions. Go through all the steps and don’t forget to pick a unique URL for your book.

2. Invite Friends to Your Page

Now you want to get some followers on your page, so use the tool on the page after you’ve created it to invite your Friends. This is a good start to building a fan base for your book. Ask your friends to share with and invite their friends too. You need to get at least 30 likes to have access to page insights and other features.

3. Connect Your Blog

If you have a blog, and an Author’s Facebook page connect your blog so that you can automatically post excerpts from your blog right on your Author’s page. You can use a number of different technologies to do this, one is called Networked Blogs. Once you set it up, each time you publish a blog post, it will post directly to any Facebook Page that you own as you’ve set it up. This is a great way to automate the sharing of some content.

4. Promote Your Page

Use the handy and easy Create Ads feature to promote your page. You can easily segment the audience that you choose to promote your page to. You can choose not to promote it to the people who already have joined or are your friends, and only promote it to just the right audience choosing your daily budget.

5. Update Daily

One of the keys to keeping your page active and attracting likes is to keep content going on your page every day. Not just any content, it needs to be relevant and useful content that is focused on the type of audience you want to attract. You can share your blog posts, YouTube.com videos and more using your Facebook Page. Your page needs to be updated enough to make people take notice but not so much that you annoy people. Most of all, keep it as close to the topic as you can.

 

Marketing and promoting your book on Facebook is fun and simple. It’s a truly essential element in ensuring that you can build a following. A lot of people don’t realize that even if you’ve been published by a publishing company you still need to do a lot of marketing on your own, so whether you’re self-published or not, using Facebook to market and promote your book is an essential component in book marketing today.

 

If you’d like to know more about Promoting Your Book Using Facebook , then don’t miss our free Webinar on December 12th, “How to Market & Promote Your Book Using Facebook”.

[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Back to Basics: 10 Facebook Marketing Tips to Get Off to a Good Start

social-media

Facebook continues to grow amongst most demographics. It’s widely used by many target audiences and can be an effective tool to grow your audience, and ultimately your sales. Use this checklist to make sure you don’t miss a step as you plan and implement your Facebook Marketing Strategy.

#1 Choose a Facebook name that is consistent with your business. Customers will be able to easily identify your business Facebook page and profile.

Nicole-Munoz-Facebook

#2 Create a vanity URL that you can use to promote your Facebook page. For example, Facebook.com/yourbusinessname is professional, consistent and apparent to your customers. (Go to Admin panel, Edit page, and Update info to set your Vanity URL).

brand-google

#3 Design and brand your Facebook page with current photos, logo and other images that are representative for the business. Upload a stylish cover photo and a header image that are also relevant to your business. Your tagline should be present on your Facebook page (usually in the cover photo).

set-goals

#4 Create an “About” page that embraces the company brand, voice, and communicates current and relevant information about your business.

clients

#5 Create a goal for your Facebook page and social media marketing activities. You can use Facebook to:

  • Drive traffic to your site
  • Provide valuable content
  • Promote/sell products
  • Build opt-in list

Missing-the-goal

#6 Establish a message for your Facebook page that supports your goals for Facebook marketing.

  • This message supports your brand and is authentic.
  • This message is engaging and provides value to your friends and followers.

calendar

#7 Create a content schedule that provides a steady and consistent flow of valuable content that supports your goals and message.

Social Media

#8 Set aside time each day so that you can consistently connect with potential prospects and build your followers while building your business and reaching your marketing goals. For example, set aside fifteen minutes two times each day to share, comment, and post. Schedule one post for each day of the week.

timer

#9 Integrate Facebook with other marketing tactics including:

  • Blog
  • Website
  • Email signature
  • Email marketing
  • Other social media pages

idea

#10 Leverage technology and automate the process as much as possible. For example, your weekly email newsletter is posted on Facebook.

plan

#11 Create systems to test and track your Facebook marketing results. Set tests for:

  • Content
  • Delivery/posting time
  • Clicks
  • Subscribes
  • And measure the results as they relate to your specific Facebook goals. 

Facebook can be a useful tool to connect with your prospects and begin to build a community around your business. Create your message, follow through, and track your results.

How to Promote your iTunes Podcast

 Podcasting

Once you’ve uploaded your podcast episodes correctly to iTunes, it’s not yet time to breathe that sigh of relief.  In fact, your real work is just beginning – promotion.

Promotion is the magic ingredient that ensures some podcasts go viral or are at least wildly successful in their niche.  Without it, the chances of people finding your podcast are, frankly, hit-and-miss.

Let’s look at the best (and least time-consuming) ways to promote your Podcast…

1.    Make sure you have optimized your iTunes Directory listing

Before you rush off to promote, do make sure you have:

  • Tested your feed and episodes
  • Included every optimization strategy possible in your RSS feed title, description and cover photo

Really think about your keywords too – even after you’ve selected them.  Do they have a double meaning you might not be seeing, attracting the wrong audience?  Are they weak words that detract from your stronger keywords?  Is your title packed with weak words such as adverbs and adjectives?  Are these the best keywords – that is, does your target listener actually search with these; or is there a better keyword?

Remember too that your cover photo will be small in the iTunes Directory display, so keep it as focused and simple as possible, with no clutter or background “noise”.

The best idea in ensuring you miss no vital steps:

  • Create a checklist and run through all its steps, every time you upload podcast episodes.

2-checklist

2.    Brand your Series

What’s the first thing that strikes you when you see a Pepsi Cola can in a graphic ad?  That the ad is all about cola and soft drinks, right?

And not just any old cola – Pepsi.

One of the reasons you think of Pepsi or Coke:  These two drinks are much better branded than other types of cola drinks.

In other words, the instant you see the graphic, you know which company’s product you are looking at (as well as which product it is).

Do that with your Podcasts too.  Create a signature graphic and/or color scheme that instantly makes people think of you (or your series or product, if you are branding your series or product).

Include:

  • A short, memorable series name (in the same font and colors, every episode)
  • A logo (such as the flaming earth in the screenshot below)
  • Your website and company colors
  • Your head shot, if you are strongly branding yourself (and use the same photo every time)
  • Your name, for recognizability

The result with the podcast series below?  People only have to see the colors, the name and the flaming earth log and fans immediately go from neutral to highly interested in a split-second.

3-pod-awful

That’s what branding can do – so put it to work for your podcast!

3.    Promote your podcast on social media

Don’t just promote it the instant it’s released – start a buzz about it yourself.

Talk about the process of creation; and why you’re excited about it.  Report on progress and glitches.  (Aim this at your target followers, of course – use a Facebook or Twitter List.)

Take out Facebook ads.  Promote it on Twitter.  Create a Facebook Page for your podcast blog or network.

4-podcastnetwork-tv

But remember, in all your social media efforts, to make it about your reader – even if you are talking about your own podcast-creation triumphs and struggles.  Only report things that they can identify with.

4.    Add your iTunes podcast URL to your signature

Do you belong to forums?  Membership sites?

And of course you send out emails to your lists.

If you do any of the above, consider adding your podcast URL to your signature, wherever it’s allowed.

(Note:  You can also add an iTunes button with WiseStamp.)

5-wisestamp

 5.    Create Show Notes

You are most likely promoting your episodes on your blog with a separate post per episode.  Don’t just stop there, however:  Add Show Notes.

Your Show Notes should include:

  • The name of your podcast
  • Your targeted keywords
  • Mention of any current trend you tackle in your podcast
  • Some tidbit of information to stir them to insatiable curiosity

Remember, you have the time it takes them to glance over your little blurb to hook them into deciding they have to download your podcast.  If you were reading your Show Notes, what would hook you?  What would make it impossible for you to resist the podcast, no matter how busy you were?

Buzz Out Loud demonstrates a quick and easy way to add Show Notes to your .MP3 podcast file in this article.

6-show-notes

You should also publish your Show Notes directly on your blog:  iTunes will actually scan your blog feed looking for tagged .MP3 files.

6.    JV with other podcasters

One of the best ways to publicize your podcast series – especially if you’re new – is to land guest spots on other podcasts and invite guest speakers to your podcast.

7-interview

Learn what it takes to be a great guest.  Make your host look great to her audience.  Keep the pace fast, lively and focused.  (And be sure to ask for an on-air plug for your podcast, if you agree to be a guest.)

It works best if you interview experts in your niche who are close but not direct competitors.  (For example, a Business Coach might interview a Time Management Coach or a Lifestyle Coach.)

Your whole aim, when offering to guest or choosing guest speakers, should be to enrich the value of your target audience’s niche experience.

Besides, interviewing experts is another way of saying:  “Hey, I’m the one who knows who to call in.”  You psychologically brand yourself as a peer of the very experts you are interviewing.

It’s a win-win situation all round, if you pick your guest spots (and your guests) with your target audience in mind.

7.    Build Relationships and Connections at Google Plus Communities

Google Plus Communities provides a little-known place where you can become known as a podcaster, all while making new networking connections and building strong relationships – and picking up valuable tips.

The particular Community is moderated by Daniel Lewis:  It’s called Podcasting Technology Resources.

You can ask questions, answer questions – and talk about your podcast (as long as you keep it relevant to the Community’s mission and goal).

8-google-plus-communities

And it may be a little-known Community to the average internet marketer and her client – but it currently boasts 806 podcast-loving members; many of whom might make excellent guest speakers… or subscribers.

(Check out other podcasting communities in other social networks, such as the LinkedIn version of the Podcasting Technology Resource Group.)

8.    Integrate your promotion across all platforms

Make sure each and every platform is thoroughly optimized, with links, buttons, badges and icons to help cross-share with each other.  That goes for social networks, blogs, contests and forums alike.

Include sign up forms, subscription buttons and RSS feed widgets too on your sites.

9-integrate

Always be on the look-out for ways to promote – and cross share that promotion.

9.    Educate your listeners and subscribers

Not everyone knows how easy it is to listen to an iTunes podcast.

Not everyone knows they are free.

Provide easy instructions and links for downloading iTunes.  Let your listeners know the length of your podcasts too.  Many of the most popular podcasts range between 10 to 15 minutes in length:  People will often pause to listen to a 12-minute podcast; whereas they might regretfully pass up on one they’d really like to listen to – because it’s over 30 minutes in length.

10-educate

Tell your audience about apps that may help their podcast experience too.  Tell them where to find links they need.  Let them know about anything and everything that:

  • Makes their podcast experience ridiculously easy
  • Makes them want to learn more – from you

10. Submit your Podcasts to other Directories

Don’t just rely 100% on the iTunes store to help people find your podcast:  Submit your feed URL to other podcast directories too.  That way, you won’t miss any segment of your market that has a hate on for Apple, or who can’t access iTunes due to technical incompatibilities.

You can find a good list to begin with at the Podcasting Tools blog.

11-podcast-directories

11. Submit Press Releases about your Podcast

Some people will tell you that press releases are “dead”.  Nonsense.  The only dead press release is one that isn’t well-written and correctly formatted.

Look at podcast press releases in PRWeb to see how it’s done – and notice you are allowed to upload and use your iTunes miniature cover graphic.

12-prweb

There are many press release directories around, but don’t waste your time on too many:  Instead, focus on ones like PRWeb that are heavy on reputation; or else find ones that specialize in your niche topic.  (Just search using the keywords “directory” and “[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][topic or niche name]” in Google.)

12. Create a provider page

Let’s finish off with one more quick tip from iTunes’ Making a Podcast manual about creating a provider page, once you have a stable of podcasts up and running smoothly…

13-itunes

These twelve ideas are by no means the only steps to successful podcast promotion – but they are twelve of the most effective.

Don’t stop there:  Find other promotion methods for your particular niche or industry – and get the word out about your podcast![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

10 Things Not to Do on Facebook When Posting as Your Brand

facebook-updates

Let’s discuss a little bit about posting as a brand on Facebook. There are many examples of brands messing up on social media and you don’t want to be one of them. Think: Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro ( https://www.facebook.com/amysbakingco ). Look it up to see what happened with them. Essentially, they’re a fabulous example of what not to do.

9-no-slashDon’t Argue & Defend — So you get a poster who is complaining about you, your product or both, and you feel hurt and defensive. This is not the time to post an argumentative post back to the person, putting them in their place. It’s okay to admit mistakes and it’s okay to delete obvious spam, but it’s never okay to be rude, no matter how bad your feelings are hurt.

Don’t Post Only a Link — Everything you post should have a blurb about what you’re sharing, or posting. Whether it’s an image, a video, sharing other people’s content, or your own blog posts — always post a tease about it, plus don’t forget an obvious call to action. If you don’t ask your readers to share, follow, buy, or like, they probably won’t.

Don’t Automate Too Much — This might seem like a time saver, but in reality it’s pretty much a waste of time to automate too much. While all kind of apps and plugins exist to help you with these tasks (some mentioned in this report) it’s really not helpful to post the same thing to Facebook as you do Twitter. They are very different systems. Also the way EdgeRank works is that automatic status updates are relegated to wherever posts go that don’t wind up in newsfeeds.

Don’t Post Only Text — Images and Video get more love, that’s just a fact of both the EdgeRank system and human nature. Humans love video and images more than plain text. It adds interest to the page and gets fans curious to look further. Plus when someone who has not liked your page sees this as shared from a friend, they’ll be prompted to like your page.

Don’t be a Control Freak — It’s okay sometimes to let others take care of some choices for you. For instance, you can let your audience choose your next product title, the features of the product and more by posting a poll asking for their opinions or posting a link to a voting page. Offer incentives for participation.

Don’t Skip Days — It’s understandable if you get sick, or something like that happens, but it’s imperative that you keep a consistent pattern to your updates to guarantee maximum exposure and engagement. If you have a plan, and it’s only taking you 10 minutes a day there won’t be may excuses to not seeing it through. When you need to be absent use a scheduling feature or outsource it.

Don’t Ignore Comments — When people take the time to comment on a page, or share something, it’s nice to make a comment back, or “like” their share. They’ll see that you did that through notifications and appreciate that you noticed and do more of it in the future. Making people feel special will always win them over.

Don’t Post Too Much — Posting a continuous stream of stuff can actually cause your fans to be turned off. Try working your way up to three posts a day by starting with just one per day. Consider your target audience as to when the right time to post your updates are. Each audience is unique.

Don’t be Irrelevant — You have a target audience, and you have a niche. Stick to that niche and make each posted update fit into that niche. Don’t try to go outside of your area of expertise or you’ll create confusion amongst your target audience. Be relevant and post only useful, valuable and targeted information on your Facebook page.

Don’t Ignore Metrics — It’s imperative that you know whether what you’re doing is affecting your goals or not. There is no point wasting time doing things that are not seeing the results you want. If you don’t study the metrics you will be shooting in the dark without benefit of night vision.

Not only should you avoid these actions when posting as your brand, if you’ve connected your personal profile to your business page, be very careful about what you post there too. People can get offended very easily.