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If you knew that only five minutes of your time would help someone, would you do it?

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Every Monday for the past eight months I have hosted free calls in the mornings where I answer questions emailed to me about entrepreneurship and social and internet marketing. It’s called Coffee & Convo, and it was an idea I had to not only get my name out there and build my list, but also an easy way to help people start their week out right — with a casual conversation about ways to make the most of their online efforts to build their businesses.

In return for letting me into their inboxes and ears, I plug any person or business who submits a question — their web site or social accounts. It’s my way of paying it forward and building the relationship.

Today I received an email from a woman whose questions I answered. Her name is Latanya Tibbs, and she asked several questions about Twitter and how to start conversations about her product, The V Bar, which is an eco-friendly feminine hygiene soap. I decided to visit her web site.

After I spit out my coffee from laughing at her bold and sassy tagline “Gotta Keep the Pocketbook Clean,” I realized that she’s on a mission. She wants women to take charge of their bodies and their health in a natural way. Wow. That is soooo much bigger than “How do I get people to buy my soap?”

I answered her questions about Twitter by showing her all the different ways she can cross-pollinate her conversations into different interests and industries — cosmetics, health, confidence, women’s empowerment, eco-friendly, all-natural. I was truly floored by all the doors she is able to get into with her mission…because it is so much bigger than just soap.

It took me all of five minutes to look at her website and answer her questions about Twitter drawing on my experience and expertise. Five minutes of my time.

I received an email after the call this morning from Latanya:

Thank you so much Janet for taking the time to answer my question. I’m in tears because of your kind words and encouragement about my brand. I have a strong passion for this topic because I lost my favorite aunt to ovarian cancer so it is my passion. Thanks again and I will always attend your calls and event.

What I do is bigger than social media. What Latanya does is bigger than soap. What you do is bigger than you. Way bigger. We are given the gifts we have, the passions we have because there is someone else out there who needs our gifts and passion today. Take the five extra minutes and dig deeper into why people are asking the questions they ask. Don’t give them a canned response. Give them you. Help them see themselves and their mission with new eyes.

Where will you spend those five minutes today?

Tags: women in business, women's confidence, women's empowerment
Posted in Advice, Coaching, marketing, social media, Start-up/Entrepreneur, Twitter | 4 Comments »

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Social Media Campaigns: Powerful Lessons in Interpersonal Online Exchange

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

7habitsI’ve been listening to the unabridged audiobook version of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People read by the author himself, Stephen R. Covey. It’s a remarkable guidebook and collection of insights, stories, examples and anecdotes that really could “change your life.” It struck me as I was listening, though, that these same principles could and should be put into our online business and social media practices as in every fiber of our being.

With that in mind, here’s my take on the book and how I think you should approach your social media goals and interpersonal relationships:

Habit 1: Be Proactive

If you’re operating from the perspective of “Build a Facebook Page and they will come,” get that out of your noggin right now. Just remember that regardless of whether or not you take initiative online to build relationships, you are responsible for your own success or failure — not your followers, and not your employees. You must lead with your principles and find the right audience that is in alignment with them.

Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind

Know what you want out of your online campaign. Is it increased number of followers? If so, how many? Be specific. Is it 10 new leads this month? Is it two new speaking engagements? Is it international expansion? Knowing exactly where you want to end up will help define the path to getting there.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

Plan, prioritize, and execute your day’s, your week’s and your month’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate where your efforts best exemplify the desired goals laid out in Habit 2. This will show you where you need to be spending the majority of your time and energy during the campaign and whether your tasks are valuable to you and others in accomplishing the end result.

Habit 4: Think “Win-Win”

Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial results for both you and your audience. Don’t get short-sighted by your short-term goals. Remember that understanding and respect for your audience, clients and customers will pay off in the long run way better than a short-term gain for yourself.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Another way of saying this is, “Be interested…and you’ll be more interesting.” Learn to listen first before you broadcast online. Set up saved searches on Twitter, create Google¬†alerts using keywords and phrases where you can answer a call for help, ask provocative questions on Facebook that try to get to the heart of an underlying pain point your audience might have.

Habit 6: Synergize

Combine the strengths of people with positive influence, not only within your organization, but online, as well. Encourage comments, thoughts, differing opinions. The idea is for all of us to get smarter, happier and more abundant together. Lead by example by being open to outside influence and by supporting teamwork internally and externally — encourage your followers to seek each other out…not just you…to help lift us all.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Balance, renew and re-evaluate your resources, your efforts, your goals and where you’re directing your energy often in order to maintain alignment of your mission, and to create sustainable and beneficial relationships and service.

Tags: 7 habits of highly effective people, online marketing, personal growth, social media campaigns, stephen covey
Posted in Advice, Coaching, Facebook, goals, marketing, social media, Social Networks, Twitter | No Comments »

Six Steps To Make Your Desire For Followers A Reality

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Chicago fans (LOC)Before you will attract the followers you want you must know what it means to be a good follower. Derek Sivers gave a three-minute TED talk on this very subject, which received a standing ovation, so if you haven’t watched the video or read the blog post about it, do it now. (more…)

Tags: attraction marketing, social deviants, social media coach, think and grow rich
Posted in Advice, Coaching, Facebook, goals, marketing, social media, Social Networks, Twitter, writing | 3 Comments »