google page on laptop reviews

Online Reviews Are More Important Than You Think

Last week while on my way to my next appointment, I had a few moments and stopped in at a local coffee shop. Humming around me were the whirls of chattering voices, happy smiles and deep conversation. In the center of all the busyness, I noticed a mid-forties professional typing rather fast on his laptop. I could clearly see that he was on Google.

As I sat sipping my coffee I found myself deep in thought about the customer review process and its impact. I had just had a conversation with a client earlier that morning about finalizing her review strategy and this guy was my case in point—exactly why they’re so important.

From what I could tell (and honestly I wasn’t trying to be snoopy but surely I am curious) he was leaving a review on a local G+ business page and I’m guessing by the look on his face and the frustration that was clearly coming off the tips of his fingers and on to his keyboard…he wasn’t happy.

Reviews are a necessity for any business that has an online presence. This is one of those things that as a business owner you must get right as nearly 88% of all prospective buyers check reviews before making a purchase. Just look at online retail giant, Amazon for instance. The first thing we all do before clicking that “add to cart” button is check the reviews and read the experience others have had with that retailer. Here’s how important they are to buyers and retailers alike; Amazon happens to be the leading review site in the US today with over 20 million prime members. There’s definitely power in numbers.

Reviews Allow Real-Time Engagement

Reviews equate to engagement, they allow businesses to shift directions immediately and meet the needs of their followers in the present as well as past. Just look at Yelp and TripAdvisor—do you eat at a new restaurant or stay at an out-of-town hotel without checking the reviews first? Most likely not. If you were to read a response left by management that explained a bad situation, it might persuade you in your decision to give them a try—where we currently are in real-time.

Keep in mind that reviewers are a separate niche of people all unto themselves. The really good ones (and there are many), have developed a cult following. They’re not afraid to say how the feel and they like the attention and possible rewards they get when others chime in as they open up their Yelp app on their mobile device and start to leave a review. I’ve even seen the staff of a restaurant bring the table next to us a special desert on the spot because someone left a 5 star Yelp review on how great their experience was. As reviews get posted, management is on point with recognizing their value—and instantly rewards them.

Reviews Affect Local SEO Results

Good or bad, Google reviews pack a punch. With Google being the second most important review platform after Amazon, they can make or break your reputation. However, what most business owners aren’t thinking about is that they are uber important to our SEO.  Reviews are one of the 200 Ranking Factors that Google uses in their algorithm.

First of all, they appear when someone Googles your business. Google wants your prospective buyers to know you’re a legitimate business and to help them make solid decisions so they decided a few years back to add review results to your online listing. They conveniently shine and twinkle right next your listing and when compared to the other 5 or 6 local businesses that populate (aka your competition). The one with the most reviews usually wins the click. If you have a successful SEO plan that puts you at the top of the search results and have no reviews, again, the one with the reviews will most likely win the click simply because of those little yellow ranking stars.

All Google reviews are good to have. However, only reviews that are native Google Map reviews with text pin point exactly where that reviewer was at the time he or she wrote the review will actually boost your SEO. This reinforces your location and your reputation back to Google that yes, indeed you are a real business.

My advice is to make use of your Google+ Places Page and set it up so it’s easy for your customers to review you. As you get your Places Page all optimized and set up, you’ll need to verify your business address with Google. They’ll send you a postcard with the code but also know that postcards get lost and then we lose track of time. So once you go in and request to be verified, be sure to watch for the code that will come in your mailbox so you can finish the listing properly. Again, this is very important to your local listing and SEO results.

Reviews Affect the Buying Decision

Reviews that are out on review sites and on forums are helpful to your SEO as well. They may be less authoritative, but your future customers will still read and refer to them for consistency. Take it one step further, nothing is as strong as a personal (that turns out to be non-personal, because let’s face it—we probably have no clue who the reviewer actually is) recommendation from someone who has experienced that product/business before.

They tell us the good, the bad and the ugly. They’re honest and for the most part even the strange or funny ones are helpful.  As business owners, they keep us on our toes or help us navigate through issues or even create a change for the better. As buyers they reinforce our decision which makes us as consumers feel happy about a purchase. For some, they simply allow the freedom to unlock the purse strings and have peace of mind.

Create a Review Strategy

I get it, as business owners we’re busy. We are in the SEO business and while we do this for our own clients, we have been so busy working on theirs that we have forgotten about ours! We know through and through that we also need a review strategy. Yet, it’s hard to find the time to actually get a process in place. Just like good SEO—good reviews take time to drive results.

Here’s what we’ve doing. We’ve created a solid review strategy and incorporated it into our overall marketing plan for the year. We’ve kept it simple…and you can too. Get your think tank together (or call us!) and brainstorm ways that you can build a solid online reputation while you build your SEO at the same time.

Before you get started though, check out the Google review policies. It could save you from being penalized down the road. If you know another small business that can benefit from this post, please share it with them! We’d love to help them boost their SEO by implementing a solid review strategy!

 

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About Us: In addition to our other servicesInfinite Reach Agency works with our clients to help them rank and be found! If you have questions on this topic or have questions on how to implement a review strategy, contact us for a complimentary 30 minute consultation! We’re happy to help!

Facebook's New Call to Action Button is Kryptonite to Marketers

New Facebook Feature Is Kryptonite Against Change

Facebook. One of my favorite subjects. It’s not my end all marketing tool, but it is a part of a larger strategy that I use within my plan. Like most marketers and people I know, Facebook and I have a love-hate relationship. Some days I absolutely love it…other days I want to bang my head on my keyboard hoping to knock some sense into my brain. The chase is on to find the golden key to unlock the right engagement for best results and just when we think we’ve got it, Facebook ups their game to have us all scrambling again.

There is one thing I absolutely love about Facebook. They are constantly working to strike a balance between keeping their users happy (both social and professional) while increasing their bottom line. Every time they come up with something that might affect marketers in a less than desirable way…(poof!)…they pop out a new feature that gets us all excited again!

For instance…organic reach. In what seems like a strategic 2 year plan on their part, Facebook primed us for the days ahead starting in 2012 when they first announced the paid reach concept. Chatter struck up in forums of how evil Facebook was for starting to charge—and we read conversations for and against it on both sides of the fence—at the end of the day, people were upset that they might have to pay in order to use what they want as a free service.

I get it. I want free too. But truly, nothing in this world is really free. Eventually we’re going to have to pay for what we want and frankly, I’m thankful that Facebook hasn’t adopted other means for making us pay such as going to a monthly subscription rate. While the negative effects for them would have been drastic and huge, they surely could have done that. Rather, they took cues from Google (okay, maybe not…which was first the chicken or the egg?) and developed changes through their algorithms that keep us hopping.

Similar to that of search engine optimization; starting your business, getting your website up and running and clicking on your neon open sign certainly doesn’t mean you’ll get found on the internet. You need SEO to be found. That may also include SEM (search engine marketing), or Pay per Click ads for a little boost. Over the past five years we’ve come to understand that marketing has changed, especially if we want to gain top-of-the-mind awareness.

One thing is certain, Facebook is always changing…..

I’ll touch on some old news for a moment. They have created algorithms that, with their announcement last November, are quickly moving away from organic reach to encourage more paid advertising, which makes it more difficult for us to reach our audience. We knew it was coming so it wasn’t really a surprise. In fact, I really started noticing the effects of this change in mid-January. Again, just because we have followers and are active at posting great content…in most cases you’ll need to be on the pay to play bandwagon to have your posts seen by those that like your page and want to support your business. Early adopters are embracing the change, others aren’t there yet. The key is to develop a boosting strategy for posts that you want to have covered. It should become part of your Facebook marketing plan.

Facebook saves the day!

Here’s a positive development to off-set that announcement. Facebook has given us a new way to engage those that follow us with the new Call-to-Action (CTA) button! Yes, I am enamored with how Facebook is going to allow us to drive traffic to a landing page so that we can convert more potential clients and creatively use this platform to grow our own bottom line as well! Could the new Call-to-Action button become the kryptonite in our tool box that helps us gain more qualified engagement? The answer is YES! Especially when used as part of a strategic ad campaign!  

I mentioned in a recent blog post the “4 Reasons Facebook Will Remain a Social Powerhouse in 2015”, that Facebook is great at building trust, but they’re also great at continuing to develop what page admins want. In fact, they want “to release features that will help drive business objectives to align with a business’s goals”. The new Call-to-Action button is a perfect example of that! Woot! Woot!

Here’s how it works:

dollar shave club call to action test on facebook

Next to the “Like” button at the top of your Facebook page sits the Create a Call-to-Action. You can see in the example below that Sign Up is one of 7 different Call-to-Action buttons that are available. This makes it possible to set up your CTA to work congruently with another campaign to help drive clicks where you want them.

Take for example this 3 week test performed by Brian Kim from the famous online retailer Dollar Shave Club. “The Sign Up Call-to-Action delivered a 2.5x higher conversion rate versus other comparable social placements aimed to drive new user acquisition.” That’s great news! Personally and professionally I’m encouraged and I can’t wait to do some testing of my own in the near future!

So.. the 7 options for your CTA are:

  • Sign Up
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Use App
  • Play Game
  • Show Now
  • Watch Video

All great options when combining an ad campaign to drive engagement or even as a stand-alone way to promote your business page. The new Call-to-Action button is rolling out to Pages now through the end of 2015.

So as we are all excited and wrapped up in creating our new CTA, let’s try not forget the fact that if we want more than mere 5 followers to see our posts, we still have to pay for that coverage. At least until we pay our ad bill…ouch!

 

About Us: In addition to our other servicesInfinite Reach Agency specializes in advanced Facebook marketing through ad placement and daily social engagement. If you have questions on this topic or have questions on how to implement a proper Facebook ad campaign, contact us for a complimentary 30 minute consultation! We’re happy to help!

 

facebook-new-call-to-action

Feel free to use this image in your marketing or better yet, share it on Pinterest!

Elevator Speech | Infinite Reach

The Elevator Speech

Do you have an elevator speech? You know, that 30 seconds with a captive audience that gives you the opportunity to spew everything you can about your company? And MAYBE come up for air?

Personally, I really dislike the term elevator speech aka your 30 second commercial. It’s all about pitching your goods/services/next great thing to a stranger. In this day and age, people don’t want to hear a super condensed version of what your company is all about. They want to learn about you, what makes you different, and why you’re someone they want to do business with.

So, if your pitch goes something like this, “Hi, I’m Bob with WidgetsRUs and we make everything from nuts and bolts to coffee makers and we really should do business sometime!” the results will likely be less than stellar. At best, you’ll get that blank stare, a polite nod and smile, and the person moves on.

Crafting Your Elevator Speech

Here’s a few things to think about when you’re crafting your elevator speech:Elevator Speech | Infinite Reach

1) Know who you’re speaking to. Are you presenting your business in a networking situation when everyone goes around the table? If so, they’ve probably heard it already a million times. Think about what kind of help you need from them and craft your speech around the topic.

2) Keep it short. Focus on the one aspect of your business you really want to get across. If you’re having a great sale on widgets, you have no idea if the person you’re talking to needs them or not.

3) Have a conversation. Don’t speak in industry lingo, unless you’re talking to someone in the industry! Avoid those TLAs.  Your 30 second commercial should be a conversational introduction to your business. You want them to WANT to talk to you some more.

4) Create an interest. Your goal in a 30 second commercial shouldn’t be selling that great widget, because that will rarely happen. You should be creating an interest in your business and opening the door to future fact finding conversations.

5) Always have your business card available. You don’t want to create interest, and then have no way for them to contact you. Scribbling your number on the back of a napkin is probably not the best first impression!

6) Ask for a follow up meeting. If the situation is appropriate, schedule a meeting then. If not, follow up with a phone call to schedule a meeting. Use that time to really learn more about their business and find out what solutions you have for them.

7) Practice! Don’t underestimate the value of practicing your 30 second commercial. Do some roleplay with a friend or co-worker. They can help you define your goal and refine your speech.

So, say you’re at a networking meeting, and introducing yourself to someone new. Your 30 second commercial might go something like this:

“Good morning, I’m Sonja with Infinite Reach Agency. As a business owner, I’m sure you know how hard it is to convert website traffic into leads.” (pause here to gain agreement).  “As a full service internet marketing agency, we help our clients do just that by increasing their rank in search results and converting their website traffic into leads.”

Remember, your elevator speech might just be the first impression someone has of your company. Make sure it’s a stellar impression!

Social Media | Finding Clients | Infinite Reach

Techniques For Finding Clients

 

How are you finding clients? Do you toss up a website and hope they come? Do you make those faithful Facebook posts promoting your business every day? Do you attend networking groups to meet as many people as you possibly can?

All of these are legitimate ways to find potential clients and customers, but your efforts can’t stop there. Let’s take a look at each of these prospecting activities.

Website

It’s true that in this day and age, if you want your business to grow beyond a very small entity, you need to have a website. Google processes over 3.5 billion searches every day! With tablets, smart phones, desk tops and lap tops, people have the internet at their fingertips 24/7. When looking for products and services, they turn to Google.

If you don’t have a website, I strongly recommend you have one built for you. Make sure to use someone who is well versed in the mechanics of setting up a website, and have someone manage your SEO (search engine optimization). It’s not just enough to be on the web, you need to be FOUND on the web! 75% of people NEVER SCROLL PAST PAGE 1! If your business isn’t on page one, you aren’t showing up.

Once you have some traffic, consider a tool like a landing page. About 1% of traffic through your website will actually pick up the phone or walk in the door. A landing page helps capture email addresses you can build a database from. Using an email client like MailChimp, you can craft regular emails to your list, keeping your business top of mind. You can easily move that 1% to 5%.

Social Media

Social Media | Finding Clients | Infinite ReachThere are all sorts of platforms out there for social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Instagram, Pinterest, the list goes on! The key is to find the one where your target audience lives.

There are some nifty tools out there that can help you figure out where your target market lives on social media. Social Crawlytics is a free tool that helps identify where your competitors content is being shared. You can also do a keyword search on each social media platform to see what is being said about similar products and services. When you find the conversations, you’ve found your audience.

If your target market is on Facebook, you should have a company page on Facebook. If your business is more on the professional, business to business side or you are trying to attract talent, LinkedIn is a great place to be. Conversations are going on all day and all night on Twitter. We give you some tips on Tweeting here.

You can’t just put up a profile and call it good though. You have to participate in the conversations regardless of the platform. Keep in mind the 80/20 rule and talk 80% about topics that are relevant to your target audience and 20% about your business.

Finding clients will be easier if you are consistent. You’ll find you’re becoming an authority in your field. Granted, you already are, everyone else just doesn’t know it yet! With some practice, you can be a social media rockstar!

Networking Groups

Networking | Finding Clients | Infinite ReachIn my experience, this is a huge change from just 5 years ago. When I was looking for clients, I was cold calling and knocking on doors. Sure, we had the Chamber of Commerce and groups dedicated to specific industries, but there weren’t business networking groups.

I love networking groups. The key here is to determine if a particular group either contains your target audience or can connect you with your target audience. Don’t go in with the intention of selling something to the group. Networking is about developing relationships. Meetup.com is a great place to find networking groups, both social and business.

When you find a few groups that have the right people in them, go consistently. Make sure you have your 30 second commercial down and that it’s not too much of a pitch. Go with the thought that you want to help them, and you will find they also want to help you and you’ll surely end up finding clients!

Driving traffic isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Have a great team of people to help you, and you can take your business to the next level and beyond!

What are Hashtags? by Infinite Reach Agency

Hashtag 101: Never Fear, Hashtags Are Here!

This post may seem like it’s a little late, however, you wouldn’t believe the number of people who are too afraid to ask. I hear it all the time; “we know people are using them—what exactly are these silly phrases that start with a pound sign. Is this just another dumb trend?” So.. never fear my social media friends, hashtags are here to stay…and after you read this, you’ll know exactly what to do and how to use them!

If you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+ for marketing, you’ve likely seen or heard of hashtags being used. They look like a string of words put together, and seem a little pointless at first. Why would anyone want to look at a string of jumbled letters?

Well, they are extremely useful for your marketing! And truth be told, used strategically, they can really jettison your online marketing.

What Exactly Are Hashtags?

You use the # symbol with relevent words that link to your post. The idea is that they help reach other people outside of ones friends and followers. They identify messages on a specific topic which then form on lists out in social media.

Hashtags help group a lot of posts together when people search for those them—they can find many opinions or posts about a particular topic as well as other like-minded people.

By doing this, you’re instantly boosting your market reach beyond those who are already following you.

It’s also great for you. You get to track discussions, and see what people are talking about. You can then link those popular discussions to your content and boost your reach that way.

Wouldn’t it be nice to market without too much effort?

Using Hashtags Effectively

While you can put as many hashtags in as you want, minimal appears better. Hashtag overload makes it difficult for people to see what your content is really about. It also makes it more difficult for others to share (especially on Twitter!).

From an SEO perspective, using too many hashtags can be used as keyword stuffing—which then reduces your effectiveness in the online world.

So the basic rule is no more than 3 per post.

Be sure to avoid punctuation in your hashtags. They’re not supported and will only make part of your tag linkable. Numbers and letters are perfectly fine.

Also, don’t pile them at the end of your post as you write a tweet, put your #hashtags inline or inside the post with the #awesomecontent you’re writing! It avoids duplication and saves character count for your smiley faces! 🙂

Some “Do’s When Using Hashtags:

Do keep an eye out for the trending hashtags. These are the ones that people are looking for, and could really help you boost your reach. Twitter shows them on the left-hand side to make it easy for you. Think about ways your business links to those trending tags, and then add them in.

Do use the tags for commentary or to bring out specific emotions. Have a sarcastic blog post you want to promote, add a sarcastic hashtag to make people smile.

Do boost your marketing by using hashtags! If you’re promoting your business it’s very important to keep in mind that Google is all about your brand. Don’t forget to use one of the three of your hashtags as the name of your business. This way when it’s searched, all of your relevant posts will appear in that list.

Do use hashtags strategically to get you places you want to go and remember they’re collecting your posts into search results for others. That results in a boost of the number of people seeing your tweets or status updates, without having to follow you right away. Upside is…they get to know and trust you and then follow you to do business with you!

And that’s #hashtagawesomeness!

oh and one last point. Did you know that you can also search for hashtags on Google? Just put your topic with your hashtag symbol in the search bar and several hashtag lists will appear in the results! #Goodstuff!

Enjoy a little more about hashtags by watching this video below—it’s a lot of #fun!

#marketingwithhashtags #whatarehashtags #infinitereachagency

Question for all of you. What is the most OUTGRAGEOUS hashtag you’ve come across??

 

personal-branding

Become Your Personal Brand

Those who know me know how much I love my coffee. Also those who know me know that at least one day a week I love to write blogs early in the morning from my favorite espresso café while sipping my delicious cup of creamy goodness. This past week my special morning ritual was only slightly interrupted by a conversation taking place next to me that I couldn’t help but overhear.

Two professional ladies were having a small debate on personal branding. My ears perked up and I listened quietly as they bantered back and forth completely unaware that I was being mindful of their conversation. Let’s face it, being a fly on the wall has its advantages. As I sat sipping my coffee, their thoughts continued. “There is so much competition these days that it doesn’t matter if you are a brand or not, you have to do something extraordinary to get noticed” one gal said. Not finding that answer good enough, her friend responded “That’s exactly the reason! If you brand yourself correctly, you will get noticed and you’ll be extraordinary.” While they continued to share their thoughts back and forth I found myself agreeing on both sides. You DO have to do something extraordinary, but it’s never been more important than today to be a significant brand in the marketplace. Your survival is counting on it.

Let me explain further. It’s been said many times that the downturn of 2008 created an atmosphere for the time of the entrepreneur. Mid and upper level managers were let go from companies as there were a lot of changes in the workplace to maximize dollars and consolidate positions and centralize operations. Nearly 1 in 10 of those laid off during the recession stopped looking for other work and started their own businesses. According to an article by USA Today in 2009, most of those were consulting businesses, eBay businesses, and multilevel marketing companies were even on the rise. Circumstances pushed them into business. As a result, competition is deeper and wider than it has ever been and with changes in technology, it’s easier for people to go into business at a lower investment level thus making it more affordable. Combine that now with a saturated market of the same widget or service you sell. With that kind of competition, if you don’t stand out from the pack, you have a high probability that you’ll end up failing before you can even get started. With the market so saturated, they won’t even know you’re gone as there is someone right behind you ready to fill your shoes at any given moment.

So the question remains, how do you become your own personal brand and set yourself apart?

“It’s about getting out of this thing of fitting in and shifting gears to being the one that stands out.” -Seth Godin

It’s evident that you need a great business plan with a solid marketing strategy included in there somewhere. When you get down to brass tacks, the brand needs to start with you. Here are 5 ways to help you achieve a personal brand and set yourself apart from your competition.

#1: Become Your “Thing”dolly kennedy

Dolly and Paul Kennedy started The Dolly Steamboat tours on Canyon Lake, Arizona in 1983. Together they ran a wonderful tour operation for 4 years and then sold their business to another couple in 1987. You might not think that is very long to have a business, and for some, it’s not. It’s what happens next that is astonishing. Dolly Kennedy became the “thing”. She was the experience of boarding the Dolly Steamboat incarnate. She transformed herself, dressing in late 1800’s lace, hats, and dresses and reinforces her business brand everywhere she goes. While she’s not officially the owner of Dolly Steamboat, she is still on with them as a marketing representative out in the community going to marketing events and promoting the Dolly Steamboat brand 25 years later. I was fortunate enough to photograph Dolly and become her friend. She’s an amazing woman full of knowledge and wisdom…and she’s created a personal brand for her business that’s like none other. Simply put, she’s become a legend and people all over Arizona know her and what she stands for. She became her “thing”, and still is today.

#2: Be An Expert In Your Field

love is the killer book

One of the quickest ways to become an expert is to take all of those years of experience and share your knowledge of what’s important to your clientele. Give some biz love and share some of those nuggets that you’re holding on to with dear life. I’m not saying that you should give away your trade secrets or the ways in which you set yourself apart from your competition. Trust me, I learned the hard way on that one and it was painful. However; if you have a piece of knowledge that can further someone else, freely share it as it will do wonders for your personal brand! This principal is outlined in the amazing book Love is the Killer App by Tim Sanders. Tim became the go to guy for three areas which made him an expert. He gave away is knowledge, his network and his compassion. This principal works.

#3: Create Online Content That Supports Tasks #1 and #2

Expand out from your face to face contacts and reach into the electronic world with rich content that will help others grow and position yourself even further. If you haven’t started blogging or video blogging (even better) yet then do it now. What are you waiting for? People want to identify emotionally and personally with a personal brand—and connect. Write a weekly newsletter, or give away a free e-book on how to best use your product. Just be true to yourself as you write. Give your audience the gift of knowing you and you’ll be well on your way. Just be sure the content is of value and meets their needs.

#4: Get Out In The Community And Own Your Own Zip Code

david arvin speakingDue to our diverse offering at Infinite Reach, LLC, we have the opportunity to learn while covering educational business events. While photographing a recent small business conference that featured keynote speaker David Avrin “The Visibility Coach” I was delivered a message with a punch. He said that today’s business culture is no longer about whom you know, but rather who knows you. Don’t worry about trying to conquer the world overnight though. Start small and create a plan. Some of the best advice I’ve received as a professional photographer and business owner comes from long time photography industry leader, Skip Cohen. His advice is to “own my own zip code”. Go local…..to targeted networking groups, chambers, and association meetings. While you own your own zip code, grow that network of people that knows you. Pass your snazzy business card that we helped you design and truly go for that super-duper first impression experience (you can read more on this here). The point is, get out there and meet people and then promptly follow up that same day/night to make a connection and lasting impression. Nothing fancy here—just a quick “great meeting you today” email will do wonders in growing your network. Make it a priority to make sure people know you. If you don’t, your competition will.

Also, take on leadership roles with support teams and volunteer opportunities. My friend Lynda Bishop is a shining example of a personal brand. I guarantee she’s doing all of the things that are on this list. As past president of NAWBO Phoenix and most recently, the founder of the Phoenix Chapter of the Young Entrepreneur’s Academy–how she does it all and gets any sleep is beyond me. In my opinion she’s super woman! Have you see her Mini Cooper yet? It emulates exactly who she is as a person! Even her license says “SSPUNKY”! People revere her; she’s freely giving of her knowledge, her network and her compassion. She’s present and she’s making the difference in people’s lives all around her and is a perfect living example of Tim Sander’s principle mentioned above.

Don’t forget to get into a speaking circuit to help build your personal brand. There are a ton of opportunities for people to speak to different organizations. Look to associations, clubs, colleges, mentor programs. All of these have opportunities to speak. If you have stage fright, learn to deliver a great talk by attending local Toastmaster’s club meetings. You’ll come away with the power to deliver a strong message in no time!

#5: Use Social Media

Use it or lose it…I’d rather you use it. If you’re not using social media to reach your clients and colleagues, change that up and start right now, but be consistent. Google and other search engines use algorithms that rank what the plus bookyou based on how popular your posts are by how much interaction from your crowd that those posts receive. Think of it like a popularity contest. Sites like Facebook need to see that you’re posting relevant and excitable information in order to continue to bump you up in the newsfeed. The more likes and shares you get, the happier Facebook is and rewards you for that. And you thought that all ended in high school. Next find the social media platform that works for you and is where your clients are. It could be a mix of two or more. Or you may feel that you should be on all social platforms. Number one on my list is Google+. I know it can be confusing, however; author and business visionary Guy Kawasaki believes in this platform so much so that he authored an e-book called What the Plus! and then gave it away free as a download on the internet a few years back. You can download it here for free, too. (That’s good biz love! Note: load times vary.)

Consistency, consistency, consistency. Whatever you do, be consistent and stay out there in front of people. This will be integral to the way your brand and message will be conveyed to your audience. Not only that, but be sure to listen to the responses you’re getting. People tend to be more honest online than in person. They’re not afraid to tell you how bad your product sucks via email or in a Facebook post. Look at these as opportunities to better yourself and your company. There’s no better way to change with the ebb and flow of business than by listening to your audience and knowing what their likes, dislikes, or next move(s) are. Once you master this one, you get to add the word “visionary” to your LinkedIn profile.

Unless you’re lucky enough to win the lottery, building a personal brand takes a lot of work. Create a strategic yearly plan on how to build your personal brand and then be mindful in following it. In the meantime, go for it!

Let me know your thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them.

Kristi Church