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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 »

Part 2 of 2: The What, When & Where of Facebook Events

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Last week I showed you How to Create a Facebook Event, and today I’m going to talk about What qualifies as an event you’d want to create on Facebook, When should you create the event (how far in advance), and Where you should promote it.

When Should You Create an Event in Facebook
For large in‐person or online multi‐day conferences, with multi‐person presenters, where you are charging for tickets/attendance, you should create the event a few months in advance, especially if you’re going to be doing traditional press push.

For smaller events where you’re not coordinating much and you won’t make or break the bank on ticket sales, a month or a few weeks out works fine. For weekly or monthly events, create them accordingly. Remember you can always send updates no matter how far in advance you have created the event, and you can post the URL of the event page multiple times in multiple locations.

What Qualifies as an Event (in terms of business):

  • Call Series
  • The Launch of a Program, Package, Book, Campaign, Product or Service
  • Conferences
  • Educational events – webinars, lectures
  • Speaking Engagements

What could you add?

Where Should You Promote Your Event:

  • On all other social media networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, your blog, etc.
  • In your newsletter/solo mailers
  • Personal Facebook profiles
  • Other people’s pages (with their permission)
  • In Groups
  • Forums
  • Live Events

Remind people often. I know that when I sign up for webinars, usually a month in advance I’ll get a reminder each week, then on the week of I may get anywhere from three to daily reminders, then I reminders day of an hour before, sometimes even 15 minutes prior to the webinar. It may sound like overkill, but remember that these days people can’t remember what they signed up for where, and you want to remind them, and also remind them why it’s so important that they attend and participate.

What do you think? Is it overkill to remind people that often? Let me know in the comments.

Tags: event marketing, internet marketing
Posted in Advice, Facebook, Facebook events, How to, marketing, Social Networks | No Comments »