Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Getting back into routine

backpackAs the days get shorter and the nights cooler and the sweet sound of “Mom, do I have to go to school?” echos through the house, we are all getting back into routine. For me, that routine includes getting back into the classroom.  If you are interested in joining me at Continuing Ed (Upper Grand District School Board) in lovely Guelph, for evening discussions on Twitter, blogging, social media for business, Facebook, Office 365 or Google Apps for Business, registration is now open.

Here’s the current schedule.

To register click here.

#3 and a Huge Thanks!

Thanks to all of you who downloaded Nuts and Bolts of Social Media for Business.  Your downloads have made this release #3 in Sales and Selling as of this morning!   Let’s keep the momentum going and see if we can raise it higher both in this category and in free downloads.  If you liked it, a quick review on Amazon would be very much appreciated.

Here’s the link to download and review section

Amazon Ranking

Amazon Ranking

The Nuts and Bolts of Social Media – New Book Release

ToolboxYou have your own business, product, service, or idea, and you know that you should be promoting yourself through social media. You head to the nearest library or bookstore to get your hands on some books and start reading. The books instruct you to blog about this, tweet about that, engage with your Facebook fans, and converse with others using your LinkedIn connections. All of this is great advice, but one thing most of these social media marketing books lack is how to create and use these wonderful social media tools. Tweeting your latest blog post is a great way to point users to your blog site, but if you don’t know how to correctly setup a Twitter account, let alone tweet your post, then these books are not helping you. If anything, these books could make social media marketing intimidating and scary.

The Nuts and Bolts of Social Media addresses this very issue. I walk you through how to create a Twitter account, a Facebook business/fan page, and a LinkedIn profile that will help you establish yourself as an expert and highlight your skills and achievements. Using very clear and step by step instructions with screenshots, you can easily build your presence on these top 3 social media sites. I explain what all those “other” settings are to help you better understand and control your privacy. I also provide real-life tips that have helped me build and expand my business using social media.

This is not a social media marketing book and I am not a social media marketing expert; but I am an IT professional, and I meet people everyday who want to use social media, but need assistance in setting up the various profiles. I have had so much demand for this that I’ve developed a seminar series on how to setup and use social media. I believe social media is only one tool in your marketing toolbox, but it is quickly becoming the most effective one. I will help you lay down the solid social media foundation to build your social media marketing platform on. As we all know, building anything on a shaky foundation will eventually lead to failure.

Take advantage of social media marketing to boost your business. It’s free, easy, and fun. The Nuts and Bolts of Social Media will help you lay down a solid foundation to build your social media platform on, and help build your business from the ground up.

PS You can download a free Kindle version of the book from Amazon from July 8-9th.  If you do take advantage of this offer and like the book please leave a review.

YouTube and Living outside the Box

upside down videoThis week, my “darling children” (Jamie 14, and Aedan 12) convinced me to use my virgin YouTube channel. I can honestly say that anything related to video-production scares me. (Not quite as much as improper server setups, but close; see article IT How Pennywise Would Have Done IT for some scary IT). I prefer the written word, but I do understand that not everybody likes to read, and video can be easier to learn from. Yesterday afternoon, my darling children and I sat down at the kitchen table and brainstormed ideas, wrote a script, and proceeded to record. In the past, I have struggled with video. I have had experience with being filmed, and it has never went without a hitch. The moment I look at the camera, I panic. End of story. It doesn’t matter if it’s video or still, it makes me squirm, and there are many pictures of me with some weird smile on my face. I don’t have the same problem when giving a presentation or teaching a class, until I notice a camera is capturing every word I say. I can be speaking very confidently, but the moment I see a video camera, I stumble. It would be much easier to avoid this altogether, but if I do that, then all I’m teaching my children is to hide from what scares them. I’m always telling my kids to live outside the box, and yet when they suggest something outside of my box, I try to crawl back into my pre-established comfort zone.

After working up enough courage to set up my phone (yes, I only used my S3), review the script, and try to find a way to keep the phone propped up, I took a deep breath, and started talking to my phone. My first couple of tries were horrible and frustrating. The language I was spewing would have resembled that of a Green Day concert (that I took my darling children to at ages 8 and 10). I hated every moment of it, from the hair in my eyes, to looking at my script, to squirming in my chair. But the kids kept encouraging me and told me that I couldn’t quit because I was uncomfortable, and that that would be going back into the box, where it’s safe. After a few more tries, we ended up with something I could work with.

Next came editing. I thought doing the recording was scary, but editing is a nightmare. My software kept crashing and wouldn’t save my edits. It was slow and I had to really get a feel where to splice the sequence (except for the part where I accidently left the “1, 2, 3, go” in). I am fairly happy with my final product, considering I had no idea what I was doing. Some of the outtakes are hilarious.

Next, I was ready to upload the video to YouTube. Again, the kids came to my rescue. “Mom you need to add a description. Mom you need to edit your profile. Mom you need to name your channel.” This quick little video was rapidly becoming a lot of work. Finally, I was uploading the final product. My kids couldn’t wait to view and critique it. Once it was up, they quickly loaded it and then started laughing hysterically. My heart dropped. What could be so funny about my video? It looked OK on my computer, was there food on my face, boogers hanging out my nose, maybe a funky hair thing? None of the above. My video was upside down! My first attempt did not go as planned, considering I pride myself on being the “infamous Guelph computer geeky girl”. I suspect this happened during a modification I made to the software to prevent the crashing issue. At least that’s my story.

I hope my first video – my introduction video – will be the wonkiest. Moving forward, my videos will be about topics I know, understand and speak about all the time. I am hoping my natural speaking ability will come through and I’ll get more comfortable with the camera itself.

I have come to realize you can’t always do what you are comfortable with; you’ll never grow and learn new things if you don’t try anything new, as scary as it may be.

Life’s too short to be stuck in the box.

If you wish to see my right-side-up video, click here.

The ROI of a Tweet

That was it. 15 Words, 61 characters, 10 seconds of my time.

A simple exchange of words with a friend on Twitter.  He was asking about vehicles and I told him about mine.

I thought nothing of it.  This was no different than what I do every day on Twitter.  I chat, offer tech advice, and ask questions.  You know, using the social part of social media.

A few weeks after this tweet, I received an email from a marketing company asking if I would be willing to talk about my Ford.  My husband thought it was scam; but in my mind, I’m thinking “Why not?  I am up for some excitement.”  I chatted with someone from the Ford marketing company and told them why I bought a Ford, what I liked, all the typical questions.  Then they asked if they could send out someone to take a few pictures of me and my Escape.  Again, I was thinking, “Sure, why not?”  Meanwhile, the hubby is still thinking this is a scam.  That weekend, Sean from the Ford marketing company came out to take a few pictures.  We made small-talk as he snapped a few shots.  A few weeks later, my Ford story is up with some pictures.  Not only did I brag to my family, but I had an interesting story to tell my friends on Facebook.  End of story right?  Of course not…because where’s the fun in that!

A few weeks later, the marketing company called again.  They wanted to shoot some footage of me and my Ford later that week.  Hubby is thinking this may be legit now.  Sean comes back and brings Sara, another marketing rep from Ford.  They mic me up and off we go.  It was a long afternoon, between the crows who wouldn’t stop crowing, and why on earth did a fighter jet have to pick that exact hour to fly overhead?  And of course, the neighbors were installing hardwood floors that afternoon.  It did seem like forever at times, but Sean and Sara’s professionalism and patience kept me focused and on-task.  In the end, 2 hours of shooting became 30 seconds of video.

So what was my return on investment (ROI)?  Did it increase my business?  No.  Did I make any money?  No.

You may be thinking “What can I get out of 15 words, 61 characters and 10 seconds of my time?”  A great story of what makes Twitter such an awesome tool.  It doesn’t matter where or who you are, you just never know who may see your tweet and want to engage with you.  It can lead you to new business opportunities, friendships, or even partnerships. What is there to lose?

Why not go and chat with someone right now?  If you are not sure who to chat with, feel free to tweet me @bennettbusiness.  Or if you have an awesome social media story to share, please post it below.

And if you are interested, here’s the link to the video.

Categories: Social Media Tags: , , ,
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