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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 »

Facebook Events Series: How to Create One

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

I take for granted sometimes the social media knowledge I’ve acquired over the years. I was talking to someone the other day who has a Facebook personal profile and a business page, but didn’t realize that you could create events in Facebook, invite people, remind people and promote on multiple pages and profiles. She’d even been sent invitations to events and still hadn’t made the connection.

I forget that what is second nature to me now is still a new opportunity to another. And there’s nothing I love more than helping others discover new opportunities, new ways to spread their message and build their businesses using social media.

So, with that in mind, I’d like to show you not only how to create an Event in Facebook in this post, but I’ll share what qualifies as an event, when to create them, as well as where to promote them in an upcoming post.

How to Create an Event in Facebook:

There are a couple ways to start:

1. Go to http://www.facebook.com/events and click the Create an Event button

 

 

2. Go to your Facebook business page and click on Events in the left-hand menu under your picture.

If you click on Events from within your business page that makes your business the host of that event.

For purposes of this tutorial, I’ll use this example — of creating an event from within your business page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, you’ve clicked on Events under your profile banner. You will see this next if you have not created an event recently…or ever:

 

 

 

 

Click on “Create an Event.”

You will be taken here:

The rest of the steps should be fairly self-explanatory. Set your date, time, end time if there is one, Name of event, Location of event, Description of Event.

Add a nice photo, logo or other image to make your event look legit and enticing.

When you click on Select Guests: the pop-up window let’s you pick friends from your Personal Profile to invite, which is nice, but odd considering you’re creating it from your business page. Never fear, there is a way to let fans of your business page know. Hold tight.

You’ll see that you can decide whether or not to let the attendees be visible on the event page (recommended) and you can decide whether or not to let attendees comment on the event page (also recommended — you want that to post on their walls!).

Click “Create Event” button when you’re satisfied. You can always invite more people and edit the event after you have created it, but I highly recommend having your ducks in a row in terms of time, date, location and info before pulling the trigger. You don’t want to look unprofessional or unprepared.

After the event is created it will look something like this:

You can see that in the “Created By” section it links to my Social Deviants page, which is what you want so that the opportunity of increasing Likes to your page goes up.

Again, you can Select Guests to Invite After event creation by clicking the button beneath the event photo.

You’ll notice that there is an area where people can comment on the event because I left the settings so that non-admin folks could do so. This spreads the wealth.

 

 

 

[SIDE NOTE: If you have an an ongoing Event — say a weekly free call series like mine or a photography group that meets every month or something. There’s some good news. If someone has already said they are attending,  whenever you edit any of the content it will send them a notification in the upper left of the Facebook header under the globe]:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the newly created event. Creating it from your business page gives you the opportunity to tell your fans about it:

Click the Button in the upper right that says “Update fans of (your page here).

You’ll be taken here:

I like that Facebook gives you the opportunity to craft a custom message and subject line to your fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You also get the opportunity to Target the update, which you might want to consider if it’s a ladies-only event or a location-based event that would be difficult for your fans in Japan to visit:

 

 

 

 

After you have clicked “Send,” your fans should get a message notification from Facebook.

And that is the How.

In an upcoming post, I’ll share the rest of the Facebook Events story — When should you create an event, Where should you promote it and What qualifies as an Event. Stay Tuned.

Did you find this tutorial helpful? Share in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: event marketing, facebook events, Facebook marketing, social marketing
Posted in Advice, Facebook, Facebook events, How to, marketing, social media, Social Networks, Start-up/Entrepreneur, technology | 1 Comment »

Don’t Let People Tell You ‘You’re Doing It Wrong’

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Don’t let people tell you you’re doing it wrong, and by “it” I mean social media. Social media is but one small part of your business. On the marketing wheel alone you’ll find public relations, events, promotions, advertising, customer service and more; not to mention all the other details you have to attend to in order for you business to grow and succeed.

We, Social Deviants, started with a blog — this blog, but on Blogger, not WordPress. Within two months we had clients. Again, with 0nly a blog. We had our personal Twitter and Facebook accounts, but, unless you’re a close friend or family, you don’t have access to my Facebook account. I reserve that for the obligatory pictures and posts of my son as he achieves every milestone or trivial “kids are a hoot” moment. My twitter account is definitely more business-centered, but only because it’s passion-centered, and the two often cross paths. We did go ahead and grab our @SocialDeviants Twitter profile just so we could stake the claim on the name (Unlike my personal account, which was my full name until I got married. There may be a lot of Janet Wallaces out there, but there’s only one @theJanetWallace.).

Social Deviants has been around for a year now, and has only just begun to get our Facebook page and company-branded twitter account off the ground. Some might consider this a travesty against all things social media. Yet, we have spoken at conferences, and we have just wrapped up a six-month signature series called Drinks & Apps, which was sponsored by the Nashville chapter of Ladies Who Launch, where we demystified social applications for entrepreneurs. Personally, I was invited to join the faculty of the Room to Write program at Scarritt-Bennett Center here in the heart of Nashville, speaking and working with published and aspiring authors on how to build their online marketing platform. I will also be hosting a workshop at the Writer’s Loft at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) in mid-January, and there’s plenty more on tap in 2011.

How can you call yourselves a social media company without having a Facebook page or a dedicated Twitter account? Well, we don’t call ourselves that. We’re a social marketing company. However, the answer to that question is that timing, luck and generosity played their parts, but it boiled down to doing more of those spokes on the marketing and business wheel I mentioned earlier. It sure wasn’t because we had some magic formula that we sprinkled over our social media spaces. That being said, now with the month slowing down just long enough before the explosion of the new year is upon us, we are spending more of our time on Facebook and Twitter, as well as on our blog. And, in the new year, we’ll be adding videos, webinars and more to our offerings. The bottom line is — we can share with you more than a dozen links of high-quality marketing information from people way more qualified that us. We don’t need to re-invent the wheel. We just need to make sure it keeps spinning.

So, if people tell you that you need this or that or your business is doomed, take it with a grain of salt. Be prepared so that when luck, timing and generosity find you, you’re able to share and serve. But a wise man once told me (Scott Stratten of @UnMarketing), “If you’re going to have a presence, be present.” And if you’re not ready, not prepared, don’t have anything to say today or are just plain slammed doing all the trillion other things you need to do to get your business going, then please, for the love of the social marketing gods, do not create a page a blog, a newsletter, a profile or any other account.

Are people talking about your product or service? Probably. Do you need to be there? Probably. However, when and how you get there and when and how you deliver your content, may take a different path from what “they” say you should do (and I’m including me in that ‘they’). There’s nothing worse better than being a social deviant. Blaze your own trail.

Tags: events, marketing wheel, promotions, social marketing, word of mouth
Posted in Advertising, Advice, blog, blogging, Conferences, Facebook, marketing, social media, Social Networks, Twitter, youtube | No Comments »