All posts in November 2007

  • Facebook Profile Makeover-Darin R. McClure

    By: Shama Hyder Last week, I announced that I would be doing one Facebook profile makeover a week. And already, the responses are pouring in. Our first volunteer is Darin McClure. First and foremost, always put your website address UP TOP.  You are after all using Facebook to promote and build a brand right? It may not be the only reason, but that’s the reason we are working on sprucing up these profiles- Better publicity! Put it in your contact information right after your name. Facebook allows you to easily drag and drop "pieces" in your profile. I missed the contact information completely the first time I saw the profile. Personally, I would re-think the profile picture if you are trying to project a professional image. A Facebook profile really perpetuates your personal brand. Is the image a good reflection of your personal brand? Good job putting up the twitter feed. That helps you keep your content fresh and saves time when juggling social networks. Put up some personal information. It doesn’t have to be intimate information, but just something that tells the world who you are. I have no clue what activities you are interested in. You state that…

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  • Now Is Gone- A Must Read for 2007

    By: Shama Hyder I have two vices- books and good food. Due to my first vice, I have read over 200 books this year alone. And one book that really stands out in my mind is Now Is Gone by Geoff Livingston and Brian Solis. The book is a primer on New Media and serves as a guide into the fast changing world of media for the average business owner. While it won’t show you how to create a strategy, it will explain why it is crucial that you pay attention to the current changes, because truly…now is gone. Here are the main take-aways- Two-Way communication is the only way to inspire trust and gain credibility with clients. You have to be open to feedback, and you have to interact with your customers. You can’t fake it. If you don’t care about your clients and try to pull one over…well, you can’t. If you try, you will not be in the marketplace for long. Community- build it, value it, and learn from it. They could have named the book "Engaging Your People"-and it would have worked just as well. (But, Now Is Gone does sound cooler.) Make it easy for…

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  • Who Is your Ideal Client?

    By- Shama Hyder How well can you define your perfect client? Use the following questions to see how well you can define your ideal clients. It may be harder than you think! Who- Are they male or female or both? What is their age? What does their family background look like? What- What is their occupation? What are their hobbies? What is their greatest fear? (Kudos if you can answer this one!) What is their greatest need? When- When do they realize they need your services?  (Example-when things are really bad or when they want to sustain growth?) When are they sold on a service? (Example-after thorough research or after listening to friends?) When do they say yes? (What does it take to get them to yes?) Where- Where do they live? Does it matter where they live? Where do they look for information? Where do they love to hang out? (Example-bars? bookstores? tech expos? online social networks?) Which- Which is probably their favorite genre of movies? books? Which are they more likely to choose- Coffee or Green Tea? Whole Foods or Walmart? Yoga or Hip-Hop? Coco-Puffs or Cheerios? Apartment or Home? New York or Kansas? How- How open are…

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  • Dear Shama…Business Blogging-is it for us?

    Dear Shama, We are an IT company that works primarily with small and medium sized businesses in our local region. However, we would like to spread our wings now and reach more people. Our experts are fantastic. I mean-we know our stuff! However, marketing isn’t our thing. Imagine an office full of geeks (good looking ones), but geeks nonetheless. We are familiar with blogging-we reads lots of tech blogs. Now, we are considering if a business blog may be the way for us to go in order to expand our reach. And if so, how do we start? What do you think? -IT Studs in Toronto Dear IT Studs in Toronto, The simple answer to your question is yes. Yes, you should start a business blog if you are trying to expand your reach. A business blog is a great way to 1) showcase your skills, and 2) to reach a broader audience. For a beginner’s lesson in business blogging check out How to Create and Manage a Business Blog. As a technical person, you may have the inclination to “optimize” your blog with widgets galore. Resist this urge at first, and focus on writing truly solid content. How-to posts…

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  • Extreme Facebook Profile Makeover

    I have been using Facebook for over two years now, and I have realized that your profile is really the key to a successful social media strategy. It is at the heart of your entire online marketing strategy and needs to be consistent and clear. Inspired by the Thanksgiving spirit, and the questions I keep receiving in regards to social media marketing, I am going to start doing Extreme Facebook Profile Makeovers. I will do one a week. (Please note that I reserve the right to do them more or less frequently, depending on demand), and I invite you to join in with your comments as well. The best efforts are group efforts. If you want to sign up, the ONLY way to sign up is by leaving a comment on this blog post. Be sure to include the link to your Facebook profile. Please make sure that your Facebook profile can be viewed by the public. It takes time if I have to add you as a friend , wait for you to accept, and then get access to the profile.  Please don’t send me an e-mail — leave a comment. Yes, it will be public, but then so…

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  • 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Social Media Marketing

    In the past two posts, I have laid out strategies to leverage Facebook. Today, I am going to backtrack a little and give you three reasons why you should not be using Social Media Marketing. Reason 1- It’s not part of your marketing strategy- It is not worth the effort to play around with social media marketing. It could easily backfire if you don’t know what you are doing. If you are serious about building a community around your brand, then plan it out. Make it a part of your comprehensive marketing plan. Set quantifiable goals. If you don’t have a plan set, you might find yourself spending hours "wandering" online. Now, there is nothing wrong with testing out the field. In fact, that is some what necessary. However, make sure you have a specific amount of time set aside that serves as your testing phase. Reason 2- You don’t care about building a community- If you aren’t interested in increasing your brand recognition or networking online with others, social media marketing is not for you. Social media marketing is first and foremost about building your brand identity and then about creating a community around that identity. You have to…

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  • The Number#1 Key to Marketing Successfully On Facebook…Or Anywhere Else

    No Man’s Blog has a great post about the top Facebook applications. All the Facebook applications have been divided into three main categories- Identity formation – 43% Phatic Communication – 37% Other – 20% Identity Formation Applications are applications that relate to one’s self: personality quizzes, movies I like, horoscope applications, favorite quotes, etc. This is good proof that people use social networks mainly to reinforce and extend their identity. Social networking isn’t about friends first. It is first and foremost about defining and solidifying who we are. Then, it is about building our network. The keyword is OUR. Here is a visual that may help define how Social Networking really works: What does this mean for us when trying to market through social networks? 1) Focus on the People- People still don’t care about what you have to offer. They care about what they can GAIN from that offering. How can you HELP THEM? That is the constant question to be asking yourself when marketing online. And you know why? Because, that is the same question your target market keeps asking themselves. What’s in it for me? 2) Appeal to their Sense of Identity- Instead of placing an ad…

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  • Dear Shama…Help! I Hate Selling

    Dear Shama, I am a management consultant with years of experience in the corporate world. I kicked butt at my job, but left two years ago to start my own firm. The clients who used to work with me at the company continued to work with me after I left. Now those projects are coming to an end, and I have none in the pipeline. Here is the kicker-I HATE selling. I hate telling people "please let me work for you." I am considering going back to my old job just because I hate to sell. I do LOVE working for myself though and don’t want to go back. Please help! -Stuck in Phoenix Dear Stuck in Phoenix, First, let me congratulate you on asking for help before quitting. Now, let’s get you unstuck! I think the reason you (and most service professionals) hate to sell is because of the image you have of what it means to be a salesperson. So let’s start there. Here is what selling is NOT. Selling is NOT unethical. Selling is NOT for slicksters. Selling is NOT getting someone to buy something they don’t need. Selling is NOT begging for work. Okay, now that…

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  • Around the Blog World…

    37 Tools for Taking Action and Getting Things Done– Get more done, in less time. Mason Hipp shows us how! Free Press Release Distribution– Ever wish for an all in one online office workspace? It doesn’t get better than this! SPIN Selling– An ethical way to sell by catering to the client’s problem. Adam Salamon explains how it works. What the Web REALLY looks like–  Kate Trgovac discusses diversity on the web and what that means for us. What is the Social Media Landscape?– Rich Brooks helps us understand how to leverage the power of social media.

  • TheFreelanceNation.com- An Interview with the Founder

    Q- Hi Jay, Glad to “have you here” on After The Launch! As you know, most of our readers are independent professionals and professional service firms who are very savvy at what they do but sometimes have a hard time “selling” their services.  Please share some information with us about The Freelance Nation and how it can help them. In general, The Freelance Nation was built to help freelancers increase their exposure on the Internet, help them find freelance jobs, provide access to self-employment support and offer professional networking opportunities.   In terms of marketing, The Freelance Nation helps freelancers market their services on the Internet in 6 different ways:   1.   Members get 2-for-1 listings on our network for $4.95 – one profile in TheFreelanceNation.com, and one listing in their home city e.g. LosAngelesFreelancers.com, SeattleFreelancers.com, DallasFreelancers.com, etc. This is what I like to call the “Big fish in a small pond, small fish in a big pond” strategy. 2.   For additional exposure, Members can target additional cities and categories, and sub-categories, via our ‘a la carte’ “marketing menu.”  This exponentially increases a Member’s exposure and enables them to get business from other cities and sub-categories.   3.   Each website…

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  • Apple-Google Yourself!

    My colleague, Stefan Töpfer, at the Small Business Blog, has been having a tremendously hellish experience with Apple customer service. He doesn’t have the laptop he ordered, but has already been charged the full amount. Instead of the laptop, he received a disk in the mail. Apparently-Apple cannot tell the difference nor do they care to correct it. Why else would they not return his calls and insist that he received the laptop? Bad Customer Service- Customer-Hi, I didn’t receive the product promised, but I was charged for it. Apple Company- Sure you did! Customer- No…I really didn’t…. Apple Company- Sure you did! Customer- I can assure you I didn’t. I have been an Apple buyer for a long time. Check your computer for my old orders. Apple Company- If you didn’t receive the laptop-PROVE it! We demand proof!  Customer- ?????  Come on Apple-this guy is a blogger who reaches thousands of people who value his opinion. He ALSO has been a "valuable" customer-not that you are making him feel like it.  Here are the 3 lessons all companies can take from this- 1) Be NICE to your customers (i.e.-don’t call them liars or charge them for products they didn’t…

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  • BlogWorld Expo- Insider Scoop-Day 3

    The final day was filled with more great sessions and…lots of free t-shirts. Here are the major takeaways! The Cult of Blogging by Leo Laporte– It is important to create a community that follows you before you ever think of monetizing your blog. Monetization (making money from blogs) doesn’t work for everyone-and it not recommended for business bloggers. Important to create a persona and then build your platform around that persona. For example, if you are a teen and parents relation coach-a myspace page would work for you. Linked in maybe more your style if you are a business consultant. Not everyone will like what you do, and that’s okay- Kill them with kindness If that doesn’t work-ignore them Watch what you post! What you post stays out there…for a long time. Be sure you don’t disclose any personal details that you don’t want everyone seeing.   Creating a Coherent Social Media Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang and Chris Brogan– Set up google alerts around your brand, around your name, around your site… Jeremiah uses the Dove campaign as an example of a company that has integrated their campaign across many mediums and embraced social media. Being helpful is an excellent…

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