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What a Contest Can Teach You about Your Beliefs, Your Business and Your Audience

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

In early December I launched my new web site. The video on the home page was extremely well-received. I got emails, posts, shares and calls about it. I wrote a post about that here.

It inspired me to create a contest for my audience. It was a challenge to them — Create a video stating what you believe and post it to the Social Deviants Facebook page and you can win a half-day intensive with me.

Here’s what I learned from the “What I Believe” contest:

1. Weight Watchers is now doing a very similar ad campaign. What can I say, I’m a trendsetter 😉 What’s more likely, is that brands are catching on to the importance of beliefs in accomplishing goals, finding like-minded friends and followers and in telling a story that can change one’s world…if not the world.

2. Figuring out what you truly believe can be a challenge. When was the last time you had to speak up about what you believe? Outside of politics-charged forums, we rarely sit down with ourselves and truly think about what it is we believe — about life, parenting, friendship, business, health, money or spirituality. When someone (me) challenges you to declare what you believe in under three minutes, you think “hey, it’s less than three minutes, how hard can it be?” Then you sit down in front of the video camera and come up blank.

Writing out and prioritizing what you believe, especially in this context of growing your business, is essential. I have heard from almost everyone who made a video about how this really helped them get clarity in their lives and businesses.

3. Putting your beliefs out there on video and on the internet can be scary. There is a HUGE visibility piece that comes from taking a stand and making your move on the internet. What if someone doesn’t agree with you? What if they hassle you online? How will you defend yourself? What if no one likes you?

Here’s my response to those questions: Check your ego at the door. Remember that the gifts you were given aren’t for you — they are for others. When you make service of others your priority, you care little about needing to be liked and more about needing to help those in need. Also, like attracts like. Yes, there are goons out there who like to complain and spread negativity, but I have noticed that most people just want to connect with others like them and feel like they are understood.

I work hand-in-hand with clients on building their online platforms, and getting comfortable on video is a big part of that for many reasons:

  • YouTube is second largest search engine
  • video has a 300% higher conversion rate than marketing without it
  • your audience wants to get to know you better to see if there’s a good fit

4. Even people with best intentions will let an opportunity pass or wait until the last minute to act. This contest was over three weeks long. It started way before the holidays. Yet almost everyone who entered waited until the last week, if not the last hours of the contest to do so. Some had technical difficulties, which could have disqualified them because they posted after the midnight deadline (but I’m a softy and let it slide…this time).

Thing is, I knew that would happen. It’s in our nature to put off until tomorrow what could be done today. I had amazing people tell me they were so excited to have the opportunity to work with me and couldn’t wait to create a video, but come crunch time, they fell short. I also knew that I would find some way to reward every single person who showed up. I was going to do something small like this blog post where I mention everyone. However, I was so moved by the videos received, everyone got their own strategy session. Don’t ya wish you’d made a video? If it’s important enough to do, it’s important enough to Do It Now.

5. Teaching goes both ways. I learn something every day from my audience. I was inspired by these lessons:

  • From Torrey Shannon: Hardships are blessings in disguise and criticism can mean you’re doing something right.
  • From Jeannie Spiro: No one should ever have to settle and it’s possible to move through fear and doubt and come out on the other side.
  • From Ellie Lara: That in addition to taking care of our carbon footprint, we must nurture a positive carbon thought print
  • From Kym Chartrand: Confidence is gorgeous and curly hair has a special power.
  • From Liz Cerami Taylor: Turning 40 is a call to action and that you should do things you’re terrified of.
  • From Diane Michel Untz: That hurt people tend to hurt people, that music is one of the most important and effective ways of healing, that those who had a rough start can still have a great finish and those who think it can’t be done should move over for those doing it.

Congratulations to Diane Michel Untz of Nashville Unleashed for submitting the winning video. And thank you to everyone who shared what they believe with me. You are truly social deviants and I look forward to your strategy sessions!

Tags: internet marketing, personal branding, social deviants, social marketing, what i believe contest
Posted in Advice, Coaching, marketing, Social Networks, youtube | 2 Comments »

The New YouTube Music

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

YouTube musicIf you’ve visited YouTube recently you’ll see that the signature logo has a temporary makeover.

Click on that logo in the upper left of your screen and you’ll get taken to the new  YouTube music page.

Under the Recommended Music section, YouTube suggests videos you may like based on what you have previously viewed. Not sure what it says about me that it suggests both Dolly Parton and Tenacious D, but I like to think it means I’m well-rounded.

If you scroll down you’ll also see a Recommended Artists section, chosen for you the same way; and beneath that you’ll see Upcoming Concerts Near You, a handy calendar, videos and concert info for shows in your town, which is actually one of my favorite features.

As a business takeaway you should note that it’s never too late to up your game, and create helpful improvements to your most popular products and services. YouTube has been a music discovery tool for some of its audience since its inception, and now they have made music discovery a priority rather than an afterthought, helping the audience discover rather than leaving the audience to its own devices to do so.

For more information on YouTube music, click “Learn More,” and you’ll be taken to a video page that outlines the features in a more sparkly way than I just did.

 
Or you could just watch it here:

 

Posted in marketing, Music, social media, Social Networks, youtube | No Comments »

What Cicadas and Social Media Have in Common

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

I’ll give you a hint… it’s NOISE.

Wanna cut through the clutter? Find out how in the video…or skip ahead and sign up for my FREE Coffee & Convo calls that begin this Monday morning. Yes, start your week off right and wrap your head around your social plan for the week.

So, will you join me? (more…)

Posted in Advice, blog, blogging, brand, Coaching, Facebook, foursquare, marketing, social media, Social Networks, Twitter, Uncategorized, youtube | No Comments »