How to Write Headlines that Will Help You Reach Introverts

How to Write Headlines that Will Help You Reach Introverts

How to Write Headlines that Will Help You Reach Introverts

Keep Your Promise

That’s not so difficult, is it? If you promise something with your headline, keep your word. Deliver what you’ve promised. So: no click-baity headlines for introverts. Instead, prove your point and show us what you mean.

Draw Us in

Draw Us in

Draw Us in

Don’t hit us over the head with your idea. Let us process all the parts of your proposition. Like most other things about introverts, we process more slowly, and perhaps more thoroughly, than others might. Luckily, we can take as much time as we need if we’re reading. By the way, here’s an article that you might like: Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media that Will Impress Your Friends.

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Stop Talking

Seriously. Don’t talk so much. We like some silence, and that can help us as much as anything. If you’re writing headlines, keep them shorter and to the point.

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Don’t Use Lots of Useless Punctuation

Any headline with an exclamation point will probably get skipped over. Quotes and an ellipses? Probably not helpful, either. And if you use both an exclamation point and ellipses? Stop right there! Let’s not even start on all the ellipses abuse that’s happening right now. Note that the definition of an ellipses is the omission of a sentence from one or more words. It’s not to show others that your voice is trailing off. So stop abusing that poor ellipses! Now that deserves an exclamation point.

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Use Humor

A little humor never hurt anybody, did it? Humor is one way to Revamp Your Social Media–when used sparingly. Light heartedness might even be part of your brand’s style. In which case it’s mandatory! Just kidding. Not really.

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We Don’t Need Glitter

While we introverts do love cats, we don’t need as much glitter as extroverts do. And by the way, did you know that Introverts tend to be better CEOs — and other surprising traits of top-performing executives? Probably written by an introvert, wouldn’t you say?

Keep it Brief and Inviting

Shorter headlines rock. And another thing? Don’t repeat the headline all over the place in each paragraph, even if it’s good for your SEO. That is annoying to everyone.

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Accept That Headlines Are Limited

Sometimes even the best headline can’t convey a message accurately. So, in the body of your article or post, imagery or music may be able to express what the headline can’t. You can only say so much with words. Here’s an article that resonated with me: Introverts aren’t voiceless—they’re quietly powerful.

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What Type of Headline Draws You In?

Let me know! And tell me if you’re an introvert or an extrovert. Thank you.

Gratitude Marketing: Spotlight on a Social Cynic

Gratitude Marketing: Spotlight on a Social Cynic

Gratitude Marketing: Spotlight on a Social Cynic

This year has been a mixed bag, both in terms of business and the political scene. On the one hand, business is up. On the other hand, people’s expectations are higher than ever. The election has created a country divided, with many unable to disagree in a civil manner.

What’s in it for me?

The atmosphere in the country right now seems to be “I’ve got mine–too bad for you.” There is a divisiveness to conversations on social media, with people unfriending, arguing, and a lot of spewing and venting. And it’s funny that while writing these words, I keep imagining what Andy Roony would say. I don’t think he’d be happy about what’s happening.

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Why Focus on Gratitude?

Mike Sciortino, who wrote a book and trademarked “Gratitude Marketing®”  had this to say,

“Traditional Marketing speaks at people. Gratitude Marketing® engages and connects with people. When you combine relationship-building with consistent nurturing, you create clients for life.”

Thinking of customers first is one of the hallmarks of a successful business. So maybe Gratitude Marketing is an old-fashioned idea, successfully repackaged. And it’s certainly an idea that Baby Boomers and others can take to heart.

A Leap of Faith

Personally, I think we need all the positivity and gratitude and beauty we can get right now. As tough as it may be to have that focus, it’s critical to move forward. We all need to assume that other people are good. Most of them, anyway. And we need to find ways to engage in a civil way. It seems simplistic, but peace really is every step, as Thich Nhat Hanh states. When he talks about “deep listening,” that it can create transformation and healing, could that not also be applied to our business lives?

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How to Become a Digital Influencer: 10 Best Ways

How to Become a Digital Influencer: 10 Best Ways

How to Become a Digital Influencer: 10 Best Ways

How do you go about becoming that person whose every word is listened to? How do you build trust so that you become an influencer? Digital influencers have not been around that long. However, there’s already a science behind influencer marketing. It’s not easy, but there is a path.

Focus on Your Special Interest

Although it seems counter-intuitive, becoming more specialized makes you more likely to becoming an influencer. Pay attention to the small things.

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

~ Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

There is already talk of a skills gap in social media, due to the fast proliferation of new platforms, and the breakneck speed of digital change. With so much going on, developing a special interest doesn’t have to be difficult.

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Follow Other Influencers

Read their books, read their blogs, and study them. Follow them on social media, and check in with them. Comment on their blog posts. Start conversations. Show up at their events. In my arena, that might be Mari Smith, or Gary Vanderchuk.

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Find Your Social Media Voice

Write and rewrite your statements until they ring true to you. If you’ve ever written a journal, writing posts can be somewhat similar. Reading a post or tweet out loud can also help make it sound natural, and more like your voice.

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Create Content

If you’ve followed some influencers, make yourself distinct from them. How does your opinion differ from theirs? There may be some areas where you have a strong opinion. Images and original artwork or video are becoming more and more important, so take advantage of images as well. Here’s an article about Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew. It includes some tips about how to avoid procrastination.

Engage, Engage, Engage

Share others’ posts, and most of all talk to people online and offline. Engagement is probably the most important of the ten steps here. Why should you care about engagement? Because for your brand, you can speak to one possible client or many, you can drive people to a website to buy products, all while you work on your branding. Building relationships takes time; constant and steady engagement is the path to those relationships.

Sprout Social has a wonderful article about social media engagement: What is Social Media Engagement and Why Should I Care? 

Be Useful

Helping others is an excellent way to build influence. Being a resource is one of the fastest ways to being influential. Find what people need and then provide it. Whether that’s giving someone a helping hand or solving a problem, being useful is a shortcut to influence success.

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Overcome Failure

Get up every time you fall down. Rinse and repeat every day. The Positivity Blog has a great little article about failure: How to Overcome Failure: 9 Powerful Habits. As Henrick Edberg says, try to learn something from the failure, even if it’s just one simple thing.

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Think Long Term

Nothing is going to happen overnight, although you can speed up the process. Unless you’re a celebrity, nobody gets a free pass. But all the organic reach, the followers and added business are worth it. Social media is more of a tortoise than a hare.

Work Hard and Be Creative

Get the work done, definitely. But also be creative in how you get it done. For instance, you can recycle content, especially on Twitter. Save yourself from redoing your work. Even Guy Kawasaki reuses content! Nobody is going to read every single one of your tweets, so repeating them can be part of your strategy.

Be Approachable

Be like a pair of old shoes: comfortable and a little worn around the edges. I think Dale Carnegie said something like that. My friend, Bridget Willard, wrote a great post about being friendly, which you can be even if you’re shy. It’s in her Keys to Being Social: Be Friendly.

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Do You Want to Be More Influential?

What steps are you taking to be more influential? I’m sure there are many missing here. Leave me a comment, and thanks!
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The Surprising Importance of the Offline Meeting

The Importance of the Offline Meeting

The Surprising Importance of the Offline Meeting

People crave connections. While those connections may begin with an online conversation on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, the best connections morph into face-to-face meetings. People sometimes then move back online, and stay in touch for years, meeting online and offline over months and years. But the offline meeting is what forges the connection.

Brainstorming, Laughing, and Whispering

Brainstorming often occurs best in offline meetings, where people are talking, interrupting, laughing, whispering, and in general having a good time. Social media can provide a strong introduction–and you can feel as though you know someone you’ve met online. But you won’t truly know them as well until you meet them offline. For instance, someone you thought was the biggest extrovert IN THE WORLD could suddenly turn into an introvert. Has that happened to you?

Technology Can Only Go So Far

Although we have wonderful technology to bridge the distances between colleagues, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Blab sessions can’t replace the face-to-face meeting, where we can see people roll their eyes, tap their fingers in frustration, or stifle a smile. And many entrepreneurs may dislike online meetings, especially Baby Boomers. By the way, here’s my post about Baby Boomers and Social Media.

Real-Life Meetings Drive Business

In an article from Entrepreneur, 3 Benefits of Meeting Face to Face, Katherine Duncan mentions that Simone uses a personal approach because it’s about “how you make them feel.” You’d never know without meeting in person that a serious person could be the class clown. Or that the class clown online is deadly serious offline. For me, meeting in person has led to more solid connections, and more business.

Body Language

How a person stands, sprawls on a chair, or crosses their arms say a lot about what they’re thinking. None of that comes through online. In this article about The Surprising Power of Body Language, Ronald Riggio writes about how power poses and eye gazes can cause a shift in power. We all know someone whose body language is intimidating. And we all know that person who shrinks when you meet them in person. That first meeting in person is always a surprise.

Get Off Your Phone

Instinctively, we know that meeting in person helps build trust, although being connected to a smart (or dumb!) phone doesn’t. It’s similar to receiving a handwritten card in the mail–something unexpected and unusual, and a good way to stand out. Not to mention when you’re in person you can show off your good manners.

Face to Face Still Matters

Face to Face Still Matters

Face to Face Still Matters

One story stands out to me, and that’s the day a year ago that I met some online friends at WordCamp San Diego. Bridget Willard (You Too Can Be a Guru), my bestie, was going to see Heather Steele of Blue Steele Solutions, since Heather was speaking, so we all decided to meet up. Then we also got to meet Frank and Adam (also of Blue Steele Solutions). We all still talk about that meeting and the long dinner we had with Tracy Phillips and Chef Ivan Flowers. Even though it was a year ago, we all remember that day. Could a tweet go that far? Or a Google Hangout? I don’t think so.

Your Turn

Who have you met and how did that meeting surprise you?

 

 

Promote Your Book on Social Media: Extend Your Reach

Promote Your Book on Social Media: 6 Ways to Extend Your Reach

Promote Your Book on Social Media: 6 Ways to Extend Your Reach

Every author uses social media to extend their reach. If you get on Twitter, you’ll see all kinds of authors tweeting nonstop, begging you to buy their new book. On Facebook, you’ll see authors posting continuously about their fantasy novels. And on Pinterest there are boards and accounts stuffed to the gills with pins about books. So what’s an author to do? With some planning, you can go beyond the usual social media posts. In this series of blog posts, you’ll get ideas for how to use the social media platforms effectively. Look for more posts soon.

The Website is the Torso

Picture your website as the torso of your online efforts, with the arms and legs as different platforms. Your website should be the first thing you work on. If you don’t have a website, where will you drive traffic? Yes, it’s great that you’re on Amazon selling, but it’s best to have a website because you own the content. You can discuss all kinds of things in blog posts, and you can take snippets of it to tweet or post in different places. You can also go back into the archives and recycle some of that lovely content. There are no gray areas, as there are on social media sites, about who owns your content.

Search Engine Optimization

If those aren’t enough reasons, the biggest one is search engine optimization. When someone looks for you on Google, your name should appear. In this excellent article in Huffington Post, Annik Lafarge discusses many more reasons to have your own website.

Hire Help if You’re Not Technical

Do not let the lack of a website stop you. You can find a developer to help you with a simple website. Attend a WordCamp in your area (San Francisco Word Camp is the mother ship, by the way) to meet developers and others with WordPress sites. I recommend WordPress because there is such generosity in the community. You can watch video (recorded or live streaming) if you can’t make it in person. But getting there in person is well worth the effort.

Branding Across Social Media Platforms

Make sure you have high-quality images of you and your book and that your branding is consistent. Your readers should not be confused about where they are–and they should know that you’re an author. Caterina Rando, my business coach, recommends having a picture of yourself holding a book right up against your face. Ensure that colors are consistent. For instance, Caterina uses rich reds, oranges and yellows in all her marketing materials. Your readers should know exactly what you do. For instance, Jack Canfield’s site is very clear. If you have a tagline, use the same one everywhere from your website through all your social media platforms.

Cross Promote

Once your website is dialed in (and I won’t go into details here, but there should be a few blog posts, at the least), you can use social media more effectively. Your tweets can send people back to your website. You can point to Twitter from Facebook, to Pinterest from Twitter, and from Google Plus to your website.

For instance, if you want people to come to a Tweetchat (a subject I’ll cover in an upcoming post), tell people on your Google Plus account, on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, in your email marketing, etc. Promotion takes more work than you might think, so allow lots of time.

Add Badges to Your Website

Add Badges to Your Website

Can’t Wait to Get Started?

If you can’t wait to start on your social media, here are some posts to read and videos to watch:

Questions?

If you have questions that you’d like me to cover in upcoming posts, please leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to address it.

 

 

Dialed In: Navigate Your Brand Identity through a Storm of Competition

Dialed In: Navigate Your Brand Identity Through a Storm of Competition

Dialed In: Navigate Your Brand Identity Through a Storm of Competition

Understanding who your audience–and isn’t–is critical for many reasons, but I’m going to focus on your being able to start blogging and using social media. Until you know who you are, you and your brand will be flailing to try to determine who your product or service will appeal to. Every day on all platforms, there are startups and brands who have the “shotgun” approach, who say that “everyone” is their target market. And we’ve all heard that “if everyone is your target market, then no one is” thought before. So where to start?

Simple Survey

Use something like Survey Monkey to ask your already-existing clients or friends what they think of your brand. A short survey of 3-4 questions (perhaps with a reward for finishing) could be very useful. For instance, “What one idea comes to mind when you think of our company?”

You might also want to ask your employees what they would change about the company, as Matthew Evins suggests in his excellent article Before Rebranding: Five Questions to Gauge Your Brand Health. As he says, simply asking the question raises morale. And who wouldn’t want to work somewhere with high morale? Of course if you’d rather have a demoralizing environment, you could read Startups: Ten Ways to Demotivate Employees.

Brand Identity and the 360 Review

Brand Identity and the 360 Review

360 Interview

For the more serious, Dorie Clark, the author of Reinventing You and a marketing strategy consultant, suggests the Personal 360 Interview, where you ask key people who work with you to provide anonymous feedback. You could provide a list of traits that people circle, such as “creative,” “generous,” etc. as one of the questions.

For a comprehensive list of why to conduct a 360 Review, here is a fab Guide to 360 Reviews. This guide is meant for an individual, but could be applied to an organization as well.

The Best-Laid Plans

Like a person, a business is an organic, living thing, and changes from time to time. The goals and resolutions you had as a 12-year-old kid won’t be the same resolutions you have as an adult. Why would a business be any different? Speaking of resolutions, here are my latest post, resolutions for social media.

Brand Identity and Authenticity

Brand Identity and Authenticity

Authenticity in Words and Actions

Once you have a clear idea of what your brand is, creating the target audience for your brand should be much simpler. That means that the words you use in tweets, posts, and blogging should be consistent. Having a list of words to pull from, as well as those you won’t use, can be enormously helpful. Even if your brand consists of you (if you are the brand), you need to figure out who you are. Maria Brophy has a post about saying who you are in 5 words.

Consistency

Are you the same person online as offline? Do your actions match the attributes you want your brand to have? For instance, if one of your attributes is generosity, is your brand consistently being generous day in and day out? If you say you are about integrity, does everyone who work for you have it? You certainly don’t want your brand to be thought of as ironic.

Questions for the Small Brand

If you head up a small company, spending a day or two once a year to discover or rediscover who your audience is can be enormously useful. For example, is your product or service expensive? What kind of person buys your product? Is your target customer local or can they be located anywhere? Is there a target age or range to your ideal client? You may not know who your target market is quite yet, but over time you’ll start to see patterns emerge. Reviewing questions like these once a year can help you become more focused on your social media and blogging so that your tweets, posts, and pins reflect something appealing to your target audience.

Choose Another Company to Model

Some small brands like to choose a slightly larger company to model themselves after. Often I’ll hear “make our Pinterest look like their Pinterest” or “we like the tweets from ABC company.”

When you have that target audience narrowed down, you can hand that list of attributes to your social media manager.

Is it Time to Quit Facebook?

Is it time to quit Facebook?

Is it time to quit Facebook?

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of rumblings about how bad Facebook is for brand advertising. I’d always heard grumbling, but this was something different. The grumbling has now turned into action: my social media manager (“SMM”) friends have been leaving Facebook to spend time elsewhere. Some of them have told their clients not to waste their money.

Behind the Scenes with SMMs

Then, a couple of days ago in one of the SMM groups I’m in, someone posted Eat24’s goodbye letter to Facebook. It was hilarious (and by the way, @Eat24 rocks on Twitter, so go follow them there!). It also made me think. Yes, we all know that Facebook is a business. Yes, we all realize that at some point we’d probably have to pay to play. But is it worth the cost? And what about for personal use? If we can’t see our friends’ posts because of an algorithm change, should we just ditch Facebook and head over to Google Plus or Twitter or Instagram?

Facebook’s Response

In response to Eat24’s goodbye letter, Facebook rep Brandon McCormick posted a defense (not really a defense in my opinion but that’s another post), and the story was picked up by Huffington Post.

Transparency

I don’t have all the answers to what’s happening with Facebook, but I can tell you that my reach has dramatically decreased. I have 959 fans on my page, and of those, very few see my posts any more. There has been a big change since January of 2014. Of my SMM friends who are bailing, they’re not all managers for tiny brands–some of them are rewriting strategy for huge brands, too, and drastically cutting back on their Facebook use.

Reactions to the Change in Reach

Eggs in One Basket

Eggs in One Basket

Some of my SMM friends have decided to post more, some have quit Facebook, and some have decided to spend money on promoted posts. Personally, I’ve posted a bit less now–just once daily, and hardly ever twice a day. But I’m not taking all my eggs out of the Facebook basket just yet. I don’t think this story is over, since just about everyone is on Facebook–including my friends, your friends, and your customers if you’re managing Facebook pages.

What’s the Bottom Line?

If you’re willing to spend a few dollars on Facebook to ensure that people see your posts, it’s still a good value. Consider a small fee, like a dollar a day. If your business has no budget, then spend your time somewhere else. But Facebook is still a behemoth with a massive audience, and there’s nothing else like it. Agree? Disagree? Please leave me a comment!

 

 

Social Media Conversation Starters

Social Media Conversation Starters

Social Media Conversation Starters

You might have had some practice starting conversations during the holidays or at parties. “Hey,” you might say. “Hey,” says your new friend. “How’s the punch?” you ask. “Pretty good.” your new friend responds. And a beautiful friendship is born. See? You already know a lot about talking! But in case you need to say a little more in an online conversation, here are your…

Social Media Conversation Starters

Before you say anything else to someone, before you tell them to “like your Facebook page” in an unsolicited direct message on Twitter, you might want to start a conversation. Some good times to start conversations are late at night, on Fridays during #FridayFollow, or on the weekend. Holidays are a perfect time to begin conversations, too.

Greetings Are Important

Greetings are important

Greetings are important

Just as in real life, the hellos, nice to meet you’s, and so happy you could make it’s are the hors d’ouevres of a good social media meal. Without them, conversations will seem a little weird because you’ve skipped steps. Greetings are what get us going in any relationship. They’re the bread and butter of your social media dinner.

Seven to Thirteen Touches

If you’re selling something, as many people are on social media, it takes 7 to 13 touches to qualify a lead. You may have heard this before. I love the chart (Figure 2) in this article about how most prospects never receive enough touches. So using a “soft touch” in social media goes a long way towards nurturing a relationship.

Always Ask Questions

Usually people will tell you something about themselves or their brand on their profile. Take a look and comment on what you see there. Start off with “I love the…” and fill in the blank. “…thing you say about bicycle pumps.” “…way you string together nouns.” Anything to get the conversation started. Even noticing where they’re from or asking about the weather or their holiday plans is perfectly fine. Here’s an example from a recent conversation with Stephanie Mount on Twitter:

 Make it About Them

Don’t be waiting for a break in the conversation so you can talk about yourself. Let the other person lead and be willing to be surprised by listening. That way, it’s more of an adventure. You never know what people will say! Most people love to talk about themselves, so give them the opportunity. Alex Feinman has some good ideas in his blog (I particularly like the part about “merging” and his comparing it to traffic).

Be Funny

Not all of us are born comedians, but sharing a funny story usually helps to break the ice. I really like self-deprecating humor because that’s just my thing. And if someone makes me laugh, chances are, I’m going to like them because that’s the way to my heart. What’s the way to yours? Try what works on you with other people and you could be surprised.

What Are Some of Your Most Effective Conversation Starters?

Pull up a chair, sit down, and leave a comment!

 

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