Things I’ve Learned from Podcasts – #13

I’ve gotten some great recommendations for new podcasts to listen to over the past few months, so you’ll see those appear alongside some of my favorites that I’ve written about in the past. Here are my takeaways from two podcasts that I recently found very useful.

The Art of Charm, #583 – Impostor Syndrome

In this episode, AJ and Jordan Harbinger discussed Impostor Syndrome, its triggers, and ways you can battle it. For those who are not familiar with the term Impostor Syndrome, it’s when a person feels like they don’t deserve the successes they experience. They feel like an “impostor,” and that they’ve somehow fooled people into believing they are competent and successful. Continue reading

Before You Share Old Blog Posts, Do This

I’ve written before about the importance of re-sharing old blog posts to make sure you get enough mileage out of them. Of course, it’s a waste to work hard on something for several hours – or even days – and then forget about it once it’s been posted.

However, it’s important to remember that you can’t just repost links to your old blog posts without rereading them. Sometimes a typo will be missed in the initial post that you’ll be better able to catch after several weeks or months.

Aside from typos, here are four other things you should look for before re-sharing that old blog post. Continue reading

Tips for Sharing Quotes & Memes to Your Business’ Social Media Channels

Sharing inspirational quotes and memes is part of what makes social media … well … social. However, there are some tips to keep in mind when you are sharing quotes and memes on the social media accounts for your business.

Make sure you promote yourself.

quote exampleI see many small businesses, entrepreneurs, consultants, and coaches caught up in the circle of sharing advice by famous people, or by big name business competitors. Instagram is filled with quotes by folks like Gary Vaynerchuk and Elon Continue reading

Helpful Tools for Small Businesses – Apps & Websites

I have been collecting information about a wealth of helpful tools for small businesses – some of which are apps, and some of which are websites. Because small businesses are always concerned about cost, my reviews will focus on the helpful tools that have a free basic version, but that can be upgraded as your business expands.

Here’s a look at three of the tools I’ve been looking at (and using) over the past few months.

Ripl

Ripl is an app that helps you create animated images to promote your business. There is a free basic service, which includes a limited number of templates and font/color options. The animated images are created as short MOV files, which can then be uploaded to your social media profiles, or put on a website. Continue reading

Exorcise the Ghosts of Businesses Past

Everyone is talking about the KonMari method for cleaning your house, but how can you KonMari your business? Here’s a tip… get rid of social media accounts for businesses you no longer have or products/services you no longer offer!

Companies don’t always go out of business because they have failed. Sometimes, an owner wants to retire and there’s no one who wants to take over the business for them. Sometimes, an owner has simply found or been offered a better opportunity.

Unfortunately, former or potential customers don’t always get the memo that a business no longer exists. The internet has a long memory – especially if the company does not delete its social media presences.

Often, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts remain and stagnate. Former or potential customers are unsure if the business is gone, or if it is still around and just inactive on social media. Some businesses establish a social media page and then never update it at all, which adds to the “Are they out-of-business, or are they just not active here?” confusion. These ghosts of past businesses are frustrating for customers. Continue reading

Why Aren’t We Clicking on the Links You Post?

You spend time creating blog posts, Facebook updates, tweets, and other content on social media. It’s completely understandable to be frustrated when you look at your stats and see that no one is clicking on the links you post.

Why is that happening? You’ve got valuable content just sitting there waiting to be of use to someone.

There may be a very good reason why people aren’t clicking on your links. Here are five possibilities, and how you can address them. Continue reading

Why I Will Never Call Myself a ‘Gig Worker’

I’ve read many articles heralding the growth of the ‘gig economy’ and every single time I see that term it makes me cringe. The truth is, I hate the term ‘gig economy’ and its partner term, ‘gig worker.’

BandBands play gigs. A gig is something short-term. You play a gig, and then you move on to the next gig.

But I will never call myself a gig worker. I am not working gigs. I am working with clients, and I prefer to create long-term relationships with my clients. I like working on multiple, recurring projects – NOT gigs – so that I get to know my clients’ businesses as thoroughly as any of their staff. Continue reading

My Website Has a Hero Space?

Take a look at the home page of your website, or at the home page of any website you visit regularly – perhaps this website, or your favorite restaurant, etc. What’s the first thing you see?

What you are looking at is frequently referred to as the website’s ‘hero space.’ The hero space is that large section that fills the top of the home page when someone lands on your website. Often, the hero space consists of the single, prominent ‘hero image’ – a graphic that has only a few seconds to influence your visitor into checking out more about you, responding to a call-to-action, or hitting the ‘back’ button to look at a different site.

What is your website doing with its hero space? Are you making the most of it to immediately engage your visitor?

Let’s take a quick look at 6 things to consider when deciding the best way to use your hero space. Continue reading

During a Crisis, Don’t Tweet about Ponies

Small businesses can learn a lot about how to use – or not use – social media during a crisis, simply by observing the mistakes made by major corporations. Let’s look at the following as a case study in how not to use social media during a crisis.

The Crisis

On Friday, December 4, 2015 – one week into holiday shopping season in the United States – three major banks experienced technical glitches that prevented customers from using their credit cards and/or debit cards. Many customers couldn’t pay for purchases, some complained of not being able to pay utility bills, while others weren’t able to withdraw money from their accounts using ATMs.crisis1

The customers of the three banks – PNC, SunTrust, and Wells Fargo – took to social media to try to find out why they could not use their cards, and why their online banking portals reported their accounts as “Unavailable”. On Twitter, rumors surfaced that the banks were hacked. On Facebook, frustrated customers flooded the banks’ timelines with complaints.

The Banks React (eventually)

Although problems began around 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time, it was only around 10:00 a.m. that PNC posted a notice on its Facebook page. Panicked customers had already been posting comments to the PNC timeline’s most recent post – a December 3 promotional post about the PNC Father Son Challenge.

Over on the timeline for the SunTrust Facebook page, a similar situation was happening. SunTrust’s first status update regarding the technical issues was posted around 10:30 a.m., despite dozens of panicked – and pointedly sarcastic – comments by SunTrust customers on the bank’s most recent timeline post offering tips for guilt-free shopping.

Continue reading

What is LinkedIn Telling Your Connections about You?

LinkedIn — the social networking tool for professionals — introduced a feature in 2015, called Mentioned in the News. LinkedIn’s tool searches for online articles and matches names found with names of people with LinkedIn profiles. If your name is found in an online article, LinkedIn sends a note to your connections, with a brief summary and a link if you want to read the full article online.

In a recent Mentioned in the News email, I also received a link to an article that mentioned the wife of one of my connections. That same email included a link to an article with an unfavorable mention of another of my connections. Continue reading