How to start social media marketing: snorkel first, don’t scuba dive!

Posted on October 24, 2010. Filed under: Social Media Marketing | Tags: , , , , , , , |

     We all are familiar with social media. We constantly hear the words facebook, twitter, youtube, blogs and so on. These are places we gather information, check out fun or informative videos, share in others joys and trials, obtain great deals, get updated on news and events – unless you are in a cave somewhere, we are all touched by some form of social media. So how do you get started yourself in utilizing this powerhouse FREE marketing/networking vehicle of social media?

      A wonderful woman I know phrased it like this……” you need to snorkel, before you scuba dive” when it comes to social media. What she meant is just skim the surface of social media sites when you get started. If you scuba dive first you can’t see everything it has to offer because you have went to deep in one area. You  must first jump in the waters and begin your journey into what is “below” by just floating on the surface. Go deeper after you have been looking around at the top for a while because you don’t have such a high risk of drowning while just skimming the top. Social media can be overwhelming and push people to quit or focus in on one area too much when social media marketing encompasses many places, not just focusing on one. You don’t want to just be a blogger, a tweeter, a youtuber………your goal is to dominate social media, to be a social media marketer and ultimately maybe even a guru!

Step 1: Go and purchase your domain names at somewhere reputable such as godaddy.com. I would suggest you start with simply purchasing your name and/or company name first. Don’t let someone else own your name…..this is particularly useful if you have a common name.

Step 2: Go to major social media sites such as youtube, twitter, facebook, linkedin, myspace, etc. and create an account with your name. If you are using a company name you should use the same name throughout to help with Search Engine Optimization. (Obviously you do not have to do this because I did not, but it will help to rank you much higher when a search engine is able to see that the same name is in the vast universe of the internet many times, rather than just once. I always recommend this to my team that is new to using social media tools because it takes less work to become ranked)

Step 3: Go to a site such as ping.fm or hootsuite.com and create an account. Ping is free and hootsuite has free services, but the best services come with a small price tag. These services allow you to post from one location to all of your accounts, saving you time and creating better SEO because once again the search engines are looking for something that comes up more than once.

Step 4: Create a profile for yourself. This is a quick bio of yourself or what you do or what your company offers. This should be the same or similar across the board. This allows people to know that you are real or your company is valid if they see consistency across the board. This means that your picture or logo should also be consistent on each. REMEMBER….YOU ARE CREATING A BRAND! You want people to recognize you or your company with just one photo/image.(If it is a photo of yourself, make it professional looking)

Step 5: Select one, I suggest facebook first(remember that you want low security settings on this account so others can easily view, so don’t put anything on there you wouldn’t want anyone able to see or share…if you need to create a more business geared page away from a possible intimate circle of friends page do so at this time), and begin building up your network. Join groups that interest you, search for friends you know, or people that share your same interest. remember that you can only add around 15 new contacts a day before facebook gets concerned you may just be a computer generated invite service. They will put you on restriction. Also, make sure to include your URLs for twitter, youtube, blog and domains. This gives them validity to search engines and allows people to connect with you elsewhere.

Step 6: Create a landing page website for you or your product. This can easily be done at godaddy’s site called website tonight. It is very simple and can be free with a purchase of a domain(you will have website tonight advertising on a free page, but if you are on a budget, go for it!) Your landing page should contain the same image on social media sites and say the same things as your profile. You can also set up a contact form on the front page for gathering email addresses from future customers/business partners and so on. Make sure to create links to your other social media sites. This also helps you SEO because you are linking your other internet “spaces” on a seperate site.

Step 7: Polish up that youtube account! If you don’t have a video of yourself or product….make one! You can also add videos to your channel from other channels in your favorites. This is important because you need to put the video of yourself on the website landing page. Why? Because google loves videos(they own youtube) and people love videos. Did you know you increase your chances by 400% of someone taking interest in you/your company if you have a video- get a flip video camcorder or borrow one. Just get one up there. People want to see what you have to offer….remember, you are growing trust and relationships via online, people have to feel like they have met you and talked to you.

Step 8: Continue one by one with creating more content within your other social media avenues. But with each one you add, make sure you are still keeping up with the others. This is why ping.fm and hootsuite are so important. You don’t want to use up your whole life just updating! Remember that this is creating a network or web. Everything is connected you can write a blog and then share it on twitter, digg, facebook, orkut and so on. Then when you get a new youtube video you do the same. Give your readers a balance between information and personality of you/your business. They want both.

Step 9: Google and Youtube are your friends when needing to know how to create something. Type in how to upload a video to youtube, how to change background…..how to tweet, etc. It is all there for you! If you truly want to succeed you will learn and find ways to learn, it is all out there for you.

Step 10: Take a deep breath and relax. Tell yourself you can do this. Baby steps, build up one thing at a time. Don’t be afraid to mess up…..it is better to get out there in this social media world, than to just sit back and wish you could have it perfect…you will get better with time….and remember you are just snorkeling first, then dive deep!

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Shouldn’t a Degree Keep You From Poverty?

Posted on October 4, 2010. Filed under: Entrepreneurship | Tags: , , , , , |

http://uspoverty.change.org/blog/view/shouldnt_a_college_degree_keep_you_out_of_poverty

         I had to discuss this point and link to this brief article because as I have looked around at many of my friends….they hold Bachelor’s and many of them hold Master’s Degrees, but they are struggling to find work. I personally faced the same fate after going back to school to pursue a new degree…..when I was finished I was left with student loans and no prospect of work.  With a background in education and a belief in education I am blown  away with how education is pushed to keep us from being poor, yet truly it is not protecting Americans from becoming poor in this recession.

       I realize that many specialty areas such as nursing, medicine, law and computer science may still be in high demand. But for many that graduate with a Bachelors in business, marketing, education, psychology and so on…..are not finding the jobs that they had hoped for. Some may say people need to be careful then what they major in, but if it takes 4 to 6 years to graduate…..a field that may have been in a higher demand may be upon graduation facing budget cuts, moved overseas, or be basically non-existent. Even medicine, law, sciences, and technology are not completely safe either for the future. With new government mandates;possible universal health care coverage; people not having enough money to sue, divorce, or legally get advised there really is no true safe degree.

     What was also interesting and I am sure very familiar were the comments to the article. One in particular pointed to the fact that many successful peers had never graduated college, but started their own businesses. Another comment spoke about cleaning houses or lawn maintenance paying $30/hour….while when you look in the classifieds many degree holders are looking at around $10-14/hour.

       Starting your own business is not guaranteed either and can be expensive, but becoming an entrepreneur within a company with a business plan in place may be the safest way to begin your own company. Network marketing has changed and looks much different than it did years ago and truly is your own business, but without all the headache. It is like buying into a franchise…..and your particular store can be the most successful if you push for it. But unlike a franchised store you are not having large start-up costs or huge overheads, no stocking products or dealing with  legalities all give the new entrepreneurs of our age a huge edge. With global markets able to become partners and customers in these companies…..you are almost limitless in your opportunity to grow and the best part is the income is residual. It is not get rich quick, but it is get rich smart and much more quickly than any other method I have found…minus inheritance or lottery of course. 

        I still stand by education as something of importance as it allows us to become more developed, mature and prepared for world markets……but I do know that it is not a guarantee of success. You, your network of contacts, and your overall drive and pursuance and perseverance are all major factors in creating your own success.

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