May 23, 2012
I am 100% serious. You can be on TV…anytime you want.
OK – let me back up. WAAAAAAYYYY back in the day, I produced the news. The 6pm news, the weekend news, etc…for many, many TV stations (network affiliates) around the US. I put the show together, I wrote most of the content, essentially, I produced a daily newscast.
After I had moved on to my marketing agency in Maine and worked with clients like Discovery Channel and Kraft Food, I began to realize – and share with these clients — that they could do EXACTLY WHAT I was doing. They could produce their own show.
AND…get it on the air.
So – I began to make TV shows. For Yankee Magazine. For Shipyard Brewing Co. These were great little information-laden programs that had an entertaining host and featured gardening segments, boating segments, local grocery and apple picking segments (you name it) and all the adjunct activities. Oh, and it was built around products and services that lend themselves very, very well to how-to segments and reviews of products. (Check out this segment on de-cluttering your closet made for a local moving company, Sitterly Movers).
And then – I began to realize, it wasn’t just for the big boys. Many, many companies a small TV markets (even a medium-sized TV market) have access to the airwaves and could make and air their own TV show. All they had to do is come up with a concept – and produce it. And that’s usually where I would come in.
Most of these small and medium sized clients used TV advertising a lot and were getting more into web video and wanted to bridge the two. They also saw the tremendous value actual informative content had over straight advertising in long-format – people seemed to like it better. They didn’t feel “sold,” they didn’t LIKE to feel like they were being sold – but they were interested in the information the client had to offer.
For example, I produced a real estate show and we featured a home appraiser (who told us all what to look for when buying a new house), we featured a pool company, a window and door manufacturer who shared with us how to keep your home energy efficient year-round, and we also interviewed a painter who showed us the “Top 10 MOST COMMON mistakes people make when painting their homes” (inside and outside). Get the picture?
Now, if you’re thinking, “wow that’s cool but super expensive,” there are many MANY ways to get and make your own TV show that will generate leads and easily pay for itself in a short period of time. And really, it’s not nearly as expensive as you think — especially if you can sell back the time to a sponsor. OK, OK…I am getting way ahead of myself now….
For the sake of argument, check out this video I produced to sell my little show – in a fairly small market #112 Springfield, MA (each TV “market” or DMA in the US is ranked in order of population – with #1 being NYC, #2 LA, #3 Chicago…you get the idea). In terms of those larger markets, this is SIGNIFICANTLY more difficult. This idea/program really works very very well in small markets for reasons we will talk about later.
Oh..and check out the little sales video…it worked very well….and served as a great testimonial for what I was trying to accomplish with my video and marketing business moving forward.
The COOLEST part of this? You can do it too…no kidding. Let me know if you’re interested in how by sending me an email here at the website — firstname.lastname@example.org or when you sign up for the blog – just let me know and I will tell you how you can be a TV star. No joke.
There was a time when there were a lot of unique products or services out there. Back in the day when if you had two or three competitors, one prevailed and the others ran away and hid.
Now – I bet there are thousands of people who do just what you do. Well, close anyway.
You can show me this and that and why it’s totally different from that other guy…and you will be right. Do you know what makes it different?
Sure…it’s accounting…or baking…or writing. BUT…there’s an important elevating factor you must keep in your mind…and your marketing….at all times. Brand YOU. You are bringing your own brand of uniqueness to the world of accounting. Or plumbing. Or dancing. Or Tarot. There is not one other in the world who sees your craft and shares it exactly like you. And that is more important than any special product you could ever put on the market.
And this is the main difference between us and those brands of old…now, we know that to infuse them with personal magic – we make very important key differentiators between “us” and “them”. Our own brand of shizzle…. and that is why “this” client loves you and “that” client doesn’t even hear you talking.
Don’t be so worried that you do something “similar”…and certainly, don’t waste a minute on “he’s got more clients” or “they’ve got a new shemgeorman”. No matter. Your clients, the one’s who resonate with your frequency, your experience and how you wield your particular sword….and they will come flying in to hear more of what you have to offer. Guaranteed.
This is a fantastic graphic….completely reflecting the generally overwhelmed expressions displayed by many of my clients when I start discussing social media. How’s an entrepreneur to manage, without going completely mental? Love that some of the big boys feel that way as well.
May 15, 2012
This gal, Jessica Hagy, is one awesome …..illustrator and list maker. Her articles are built around fun little charts that show us – with the complete clarity that only pie charts can achieve – the error(s) of our old-world (read: 1996) ways.
Plus – I’m always a sucker for articles that champion the weird, the oppressed hipster, yearning to be….well, himself and definitely NOT understood by you or me. However, in this world of shifting goalposts …. Ms. Hagy brings home one of my personal mantras: why you need to listen to yourself. This, above all else, to thyn own self be true…. and please, oh please, pie chart me!
Check out Why Weird is Wonderful (and Bankable)
Twitter is maybe the most misunderstood and under estimated social media marketing tool in the social media top 5 including Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Most people still think it is just about superficial conversations, insignificant daily events and news.
The reality is that it is a much sharper tool than Facebook in one very important area and that is creating a large database of followers (subscribers if you like) without having a large marketing budget. On Facebook you have to drive people to your Facebook page to get them to “like” your page so that you can then provide updates that they will find interesting and engaging.
This requires 2 key elements to really scale
1. You already have a lot of organic traffic to your blog or Facebook page that have heard about you and your business so that you can get a small percentage to click the “like” button on Facebook or click on your “like” button on you blog’s Facebook social plugin.
2. You run an advertising campaign on Facebook to drive people to a landing page that provides an incentive for people to “like” your Facebook page
The challenge with Facebook is that this can cost you a lot of money to run a marketing campaign to grow your fans and this requires budgets that is only available to large companies and that is why you are seeing major brands with tens of million of ”likes” such as Coca Cola. (view some these companies at “The World’s 20 Most Popular Facebook Pages“)
The Power of Twitter
The power of Twitter is that you can “pull” people to follow you on Twitter by following them.
Why does this work? ..well there is a largely unknown secret Twitter rule or “etiquette” that most newbies don’t understand and that is when you follow someone that a certain percentage will follow you back. Now that percentage may be only 20% or it may be 50% but once you have them following you on Twitter your updates will now appear in their Twitter “stream”.
If you follow 100 people then you will find next day or in few hours when you check your follower count that you will have increased your followers by 20-30 people.
Now the challenge here is not just getting a large quantity of people to follow you whose interests are wide and diverse eg.. there is no reason people who are interested in “cars” are going to want to read your updates on “wine” if you are a wine retailer or producer. You need to get followers who are interested in your topics and this is the “quality” targeted component of creating a following on Twitter.
So how can you as a businesses or personal brand attract followers that are interested in your industry so that you can then amaze them with your unique and fascinating insights and news that is relevant to your industry and start engaging with them.
The Twitter Tool To Gain Targeted Quality Followers
One Twitter tool that I have found useful is Twellow.com, a free tool which has 30.5 million Twitter profiles in its database sorted into a vast range of categories.
Using Twellow you can
1. Search and then
2. Follow people
This “following” tactic is based upon their interests in their Twitter profile. You can enter a key word such as “wine” and up will come companies and people with large Twitter followings that have indicated their interests when registering on Twitter in their Twitter profile, you can then follow them within the tool by clicking the blue “Follow” button.
This tactic will assist you in starting to build a targeted following on Twitter that is interested in your Tweets and content.
The thing to remember though is that once you have people following you that your tweeted “Headlines” and “links” to articles and YouTube videos needs to be interesting and topical to keep them clicking on those hyperlinks embedded in your Tweets. These links does not have to be only your own content but should also include other websites and links to content that add value and solves problems for your followers.
So start building a following that is interested in your topic of choice.
May 11, 2012
(questions? Drop me a line)
May 10, 2012
The word (or the concept) of “great content” is becoming kind of a buzzword. And when something becomes a “buzzword,” it kind of looses it’s meaning. Or it’s meaning takes on lots of new definitions and connotations that may or may not be helpful.
In terms of your blog/website, and for our purposes here, all we care about is the “great” part. Truly GREAT content has a level of expertise to it, and a mix of experience and know-how that combines together in a magical new way: it’s infused with your very own special sauce. This is great content.
The question you have to ask yourself is this.
“Is my content good enough to get shared? And if so, are high quality experts sharing my content right now?”
- How often is your content (blog posts, articles, videos, etc..) shared?
- Who shared your content? Do they also have expertise in my area?
- How many comments did your content generate?
- Were the comments on your content of high-quality?
- How often is your content endorsed? (i.e. – +1, Like, Pinned)
- Do the same people always endorse your content?
BUT…there is an even MORE important consideration. The REASON they share it is YOU.
When you go to create your content, it’s not enough just to put up the same old tired tips that you see EVERYWHERE (and I mean everywhere these days), you have to add your own special brand. Brand YOU.
If the keys are authenticity and value, then what turns the key in the lock is YOU. Your personal brand. There are thousands – maybe millions – of dentists, movers, engineers, marketing pros, and Tarot visionaries out there – the only thing that will differentiate your content from that of those others is what YOU bring to the table.
YOU are what raises the bar. YOU are what’s going to differentiate what you are saying from all others.
Now, get started.
May 8, 2012
Under the heading of, “The Business of Is-ness” series – I want to give a shout out to developing your intuitive sense.
Since most of us are taught to develop our brains, there are a considerable number of us who may think that the left – or logical – brain is the only way we can get “smarter.” Untrue, my dear. Untrue.
We are all born with intuition. (true) We can all expand on that natural ability. (right again) ….really? For my business? (absolutely!)
To some. “business intuition” sounds a contradiction in terms – until you consider that business is about solving problems for people and intuition is an internal antenna, known as the quiet voice of inner wisdom, for truthful answers. It’s potentially the most important club in the bag.
1. How’s my business doing? Your intuition knows… By tuning in to your intuition, you know when you’re on track with what you’re doing and what your business is doing. It’s internal validation. If you feel a strong sense about your direction, regardless of outside evidence seemingly telling you otherwise, you need to follow that intuition and stay the course.
2. Intuition can help you set a strategic direction that is in alignment with a or your greater truth. One of the most discussed elements of business communication these days is “authenticity.” What you are doing is resonating with who you are – and with your internal belief system. A direction that is guided using this internal GPS will “ring true” to others and those who also align themselves with “why you do what you do” will follow you to the ends of the earth.
3. Your intuition serves as a roadmap of key decisions – pointing to success. We all make hundreds of decisions each day – who can keep track? Your intuition, that’s who. When you set that point as a guiding light, then all those hundreds of decisions will work together toward your goal – even if it doesn’t make very much sense to others. Follow your own map – and remember those who have also done this regardless of the chorus of voices telling them they couldn’t succeed. Keep them in your heart.
4. I think the most important function of your intuition is letting it determine who you partner with and what projects to take on – and which ones to leave behind. When you allow your “inner knowing” determine the “right” relationship matches for your business, whether business partners, associates, new hires, vendors, or whatever the possible association, you will never go wrong. How many times have you said, “I knew she was going to be a bad fit, but I thought because she had the credentials……” You DO KNOW. Trust it. By listening to your intuition, you will be able to determine who is, or is not, a good fit for working with you and/or your business.
5. Your intuitive sense is your biggest cheerleader and friend. As an internal monitor, your intuition supports you in doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Time is the only true currency we have, and it is vital to keep focus, minimize or eliminate distractions, and continue forward momentum. Your intuition will help guide your energy and time management effectively.
By understanding the power of your personal intuition, you have the ability to be your own best resource of information regardless of external circumstances.
P.S. This is NOT for women only. Some of the most intuitively-focused people are men. I believe Steve Jobs also worked this way – and that worked out pretty well for him.
May 8, 2012
There’s a couple of cool things about using video in your blog: not only are people more likely to watch it than read a ton of dense text, video actually affords you lots of creative opportunity to bring information to your “readers” in compelling (and memorable) ways.
Check out these stats……
- Visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not, according to Internet Retailer, April 2010. (via Invodo)
- From a study by Simply Measured, video on your brand’s Facebook Timeline increases engagement by 33%. (via VatorNews)
- According to a Google report from 2010, “Video exhibits higher click-through rates than non-video for both in-page as well as expanding rich media formats.”
- Ever since Google integrated video into its universal search offering in 2007, websites featuring video have gained a significant SEO advantage. When a company integrates relevant videos that match the content of its website, search engines find and index the video within the site’s context. This improves your overall website and video search ranking as it relates to your business’ keywords, and also allows search results to be presented with matching videos, making them more appealing, thereby increasing search-based traffic. (SearchEngine Land)