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Selecting Your Social Media Username – Overview

Learn from IempowerU Online Entrepreneur how to select a usernameSelecting your social media username will be one of the most important things that you do, when starting your social media marketing. This name has the potential to become your brand, not just locally, but nationally and globally. If done correctly, you will be using this name to create a following or a community of strategic partners, experts, mentors, prospects and customers around your subject matter expertise. Selecting this username is the first step in a very time consuming process. Let’s make the most of this step and that time now, by considering all of the ramifications of this process.

Such as:

  • In addition to being a name used to tweet with, could it also be part of the url that you select for your blog or website?
  • Could it be turned into your business name?

When looked at from these angles, you realize that there is much more that goes into the selection of this name than you originally thought. Because of this, we ask you to select it with care.

Start Here – What Stage Of Business Are You In Today?

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur talks about the idea stage of your businessIdea Stage:

We believe that you can and should use a social media platform to test the waters, shape and mold that idea into something that people will want to buy. Exception would be if your idea is in the process of being protected with patents, trademarks or copyrights. This may limit what you say and how you proceed, so check with your legal counsel before you start.

No matter what, it is our recommendation that if you are in the idea stage, you should create a personal social media platform first, selecting your own name, or a version of your name that is still available. Example: when selecting my first username, I tried to get my name @LindaMHughes but it was not available. So I researched different versions of my name, including initials of my middle name and maiden name – lindambhughes and that was available.

We make this recommendation because at the idea stage, you just don’t know how things are going to be adjusted or changed, or abandoned.

As it solidifies into a bonafide startup/business, you can then create your business social media platform. And if you change or abandon this idea, it won’t matter from a social media perspective. You will still be able to stand tall and proud on the personal platform that you have created.

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur talks about the idea stage of your businessStartup Stage:

Entrepreneurs tend to be a very fluid, flexible group of people. They may start with an idea/structure today that evolves rapidly. This evolution may actually change the entire scope of their project. A name created today may end up being invalid and actually a liability by the end of the year. Changing your username, brand and the community that goes with this is very expensive both from a time and money perspective. To avoid having to change, use the solution recommended for the idea stage.

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur works with small businessesExisting Business:

When your idea evolves into a startup and when your startup evolves into a business, then you are ready to create the business social media presence. If you are entering this discussion with a fully evolved business and customer base, we recommend that you create a social media presence for the business. Later, when you know how to do this and can manage the time required, you can fall back and build your personal social media presence.

We recommend that you either use the business name, or the name of your flagship product or service for a social media username.

Social Media – It’s Only A Set Of Tools To Enhance Relationship Building Not Replace It!

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur asks you to list what social media marketing you have in place nowEvery day I get info on the newest, latest, greatest super innovative technology that is designed to make our business internet relationship building lives easier. There is a new social media tool available almost every day that will help us all become more organized, make better connections faster and bring us more meaningful relationships. All we have to do is sign up, sign on, osmose how to use it, and then let the technology work its magic. And if we are just too busy to do it for ourselves, we can outsource it!

But, the only magic we keep creating for ourselves is that we find better, faster ways for more of our machines to talk to each other. And if we outsource it, that means we have now interjected a third set of machines into this mix, so our relationships will develop more efficiently and be the richer for it. And while our machines are having this fantastic relationship better, faster and without us, we keep searching.

Hmmm. That is because all of these apps, programs, softwares etc are TOOLS. They are tools to enable us to do what we want better, faster, cheaper. But they are still just tools. We still have to decide what it is that we want, when we want it, how we want it and why. And then we have to personally engage in this process – get our hands dirty mucking about with other human beings. You know, engaging in that messy process of meshing with anothers moods, emotions, motives, differences, ideals, values and perspectives!

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur shares that social media is a tool to creating a successful businessWho:

A carpenter uses a hammer as one of his/her tools.

What:

The carpenter must first decide what they are doing – why do they even need a hammer. Are they building an addition, nailing on a roof, installing drywall or finishing a door?

When:

Is the project ready for the carpenter to use his hammer? Would a carpenter use his hammer to frame exterior walls on an addition before the foundation was poured?

How:

How will he use his hammer? Does he have the proper skills, understanding for the techniques involved in using that hammer over the other one? Does he understand the risks between them?

Why:

Why should he use this hammer over that one? It seems like that finish nailer is so much faster than using the framing axe – but which will give the results needed for that task?

And finally, the carpenter and his work have to please someone or he won’t be hired back. That means he has to put his nail in the wall at the same time he is developing a relationship of trust with his boss, co-workers or client.

Uh oh! Here we go with that relationship building thing again! Isn’t there an iphone app that can do that while I pound this nail in the wall?

Next Step: Create A Vibrant Community Of Like-minded People

You are now well into creating/improving your online presence. You are in the groove using the right internet tools for all the right reasons – your reasons. You have begun to use the internet to promote your subject matter expertise. All is well on the homefront – now what?

Next Step: Create A Vibrant Community Of Like-minded People who share in your collective hopes and dreams for the future.

Make an appointment to discuss how to do this. We would love to share our step by step system with you. Then, use what you will, add what you know, experiment with what you think might work and have fun! And whatever you do, ignore the urge to automate the accumulation of mass numbers of followers, connections and friends – just for the sake of having big numbers and looking important.

Instead, look beyond those “numbers”, the mechanics of “how-to” use the tools, and see the people. Realize that behind your marketing plan and their 140 characters there is a real person that may become your greatest friend, mentor, strategic partner, vendor, employee or customer. And then treat them with utmost respect and care.

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur will show you how to create a community of raving fansFrom Neanderthal man and the campfire to smart phones and tweets, we crave the need to celebrate our lives with others. So take the time now to do that with all the folks who showed up in your tweet stream and on your walls.

  • Who are they?
  • What do they do?
  • What do they think about….?
  • How do they feel about….?
  • How can you make their lives better?

Ask yourself these questions… and then ask them! More importantly, listen to them when they give you their answers. Shelf your agenda and hear them – heart to heart. And then respond the same way.

Make your online presence one that leads with authenticity, transparency and true depth – one that serves the people who stop by to learn what you are all about. You have captured their attention and interest – now don’t disappoint!

Onward and upward!

Using The Internet To Promote Your Subject Matter Expertise

As I stated in a previous post, the first thing you should expect, and aim for with internet marketing is to use the internet to promote/build your subject matter expertise.

You know and your immediate circle of family, friends and customers may know that you are a subject matter expert. But is that enough to sustain your rock star business?

If not, we can definitely help you with that! By participating in Power Teams, we can get you rock star status in a very short period of time.

How to strengthen your subject matter expertise at IempowerU Online EntrepreneurTo the right is an example of what we do every day. This is a page listing the top people on twitter for the keyword “international business”. They earn their rank by the quality of their content and level of active engagement with their social media communities, specifically twitter.

Becky DeStigter, in 1st position with a score of 100% is my community site – Entrepreneur Community Online’s 1st Follower(watch the video on this page). She has been in this position now for several years years. The highlighted names are past or current members of ECO Power Teams, all of them used the power teams to get started.

Their diligence and consistency in creating/maintaining/improving their online presence is very clear from this list. And don’t think for one minute that their expertise stops at this list. It extends out into a growing presence online. And that presence is translating directly to their bottom line. When you become the “go-to” person in your industry, people go to you and pay you handsomely for that expertise.

How do you get this for yourself, how do you build/strengthen/promote your own subject matter expertise online? As we have been discussing in all of my previous blog posts:

  • you have to develop an overall online strategy
  • part of which will be to develop a social media marketing strategy

Then, if it fits within your strategies, I recommend that you become a member of an ECO Power Team. One purpose of the power team is to show you how to do this as you go. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment so that we can discuss your questions.

Are You Succeeding In Creating Or Improving A GREAT Online Presence?

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur Discusses Tracking your ROI With Google Analytics

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How do you know? How do you know if all this frenetic activity and completed “to-do” lists are giving you the return on your investment? First of all, don’t discount anecdotal clues such as reader comments in your blogs, or full engagement in your social media platforms. These are the first signs of success.

For statistical clues, though, you will need to add on some tracking tools. I will not be recommending any of these tools for you in this post. Instead, use these steps to develop a strategy to research/select your own.

Last week we recommended beginning with a website, or a blog, or a blog website. The following recommendations are for selecting tools that will measure statistics on these.

SEO at IempowerU Online EntrepreneurStep #1: Educate yourself on this topic before you select any tools

Start with terminology. Read thiswikipediaexplanation of the entire topic and of commonly used terms. Get 2nd or 3rd opinions by surfing the web. Before you get crazy about tracking:

  • learn what words to use
  • learn what is being done or tracked
  • determine which of these things will be important to you and your strategy

Select the right tools based on this research:

  • learn how to use them
  • learn how to review the results in the manner the tools creator intended
  • aka: read the directions!

I don’t believe one size fits all – you may want to track different things than I do, so why should we all settle for the same old tool?

On the other hand, don’t become a crazy tool junky either. Stay up to date on new tools/features coming onto the market, but do just pick something, use it and get back to your core business tasks.

I am a proponent of using free tools, especially in the beginning. I want to see how something works first, before I buy it. Get a 30 day free trial on a product that can be upgraded as your needs become more complex.

Step #2: Don’t become obsessed by your site stats.

Don’t look at them every day, every hour or every 10 minutes. Pick a day of the week or month to review your site stats only.

Remember, this is one of the tools of your business, not the only one. You have so many more important things to do each day than obsess over your site stats.

Sign up for weekly tips that will take you step by step through this process. If you have reviewed your strategy, done the research and want to brainstorm about specific tools, make an appointment with me and let’s get started!

Next month: What Will Social Media Do For Your Business?

What Tools Do You Use To Create Your Best Online Presence?

tools to work on your online presence at IempowerU Online EntrepreneurYou know why, you know who you and your customer are, you are ready to start creating/improving your online presence. But, where do you start? Do you do a website or a blog? Do you jump into social media? Which one? Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, what about You Tube, or Pinterest? What the heck is Stumbleupon or Digg? Do you use Etsy, or Ebay, or Craigslist? Do you post your events on Meetup or Eventbrite or on your blog or website? There is so much to do, so many places to be, and this is just your marketing at this rate, when will you ever have time to do the actual sales and then work? EEEk! Help!

No problem. As with every other aspect of your business, develop and then implement your strategy.

If you are just joining us, please review all of my blogs, in order. All of these blogs help you prepare your strategy to develop YOUR big picture. This big picture will lead you into selecting the tools that will work the best for you, your time and your customers needs. You do NOT have to use them all. Pick the ones that:

– you think will work for you after doing the actions steps listed in each blog post
– learn how to use them properly to accomplish the desired outcome
– give them a fair amount of time to get the desired results
– discard the ones that don’t give those desired results
– keep the ones that do give you results
– adjust your master plan or the strategy you are now designing
– keep going!

Remember my motto: Attempt, fail, improve – if you wait around until your plan and theory feels perfect, you will have missed many if not all of your opportunities for success.

The following 2 tools are where I think you should start to create/improve your online presence.

Click on the title for a wikipediadefinition. Keep in mind that the wikipedia content is submitted by the reader, adjusted, verified when required and presented. These definitions evolve as the users use, learn and participate – Attempt, fail and improve.

Website
A website is your brick and mortar store in cyberspace. Once you get the pages/content set up, you rarely update or add new pages – they are referred to as “static” pages. These can be used as online business cards, brochures, photo albums and catalogs. You can set up a store to sell products from a website.

Eleven years ago, when I started learning how to do all of this, there were not as many options as there are today. Now, there are many diy platforms where you can learn how to set up a website. This will require time, effort and patience, do-able if you really want to. The most important ingredient if you diy, is an open mind. If you think you can you can, conversely, if you think you can’t…

Blog
Blogs are like the marketing department for your cyberstore. They can be apart of your website or they can stand alone. I would bet that 85% of all “websites” today are actually blog websites set up on Blog Platforms. A Blog platform allows you to build static pages on the site that can look, feel and be used as your website static pages. Then, on the same site, you can write blog posts. The blog post is an informal way to write an article that your reader can respond to by way of commenting.

You can also sell products and services from a blog with a dedicated url and host. Selling is usually against terms of service of the free blogsite platforms.

At IempowerU Online Entrepreneur, we will host, teach you how to set up, use and maintain your blog website, so contact us when you are ready!

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What Will You Do With Your Blog Website?
Depends on your answers to Why You Want An Online Presence, Who Are You and Who Is Your Customer – read all blog posts in order.

Use your blog website to establish your subject matter expertise online. We will cover specifics of this in future blog posts.

You can sell your products and services directly from your blog website.

Also known as ECommerce
Much more on this in future blog posts so stayed tuned.

Take an in-depth look at yourself and how you are doing business.Sign up for weekly tips that will take you step by step through this process. Or schedule an appointment for one on one instruction, if you want to get through this project yesterday. Start today or start tomorrow, but, either way you have to get through this step to create this picture of why you are, right now, at this moment. Don’t worry about making it all perfect, just get it written down.

Then we can start to select the best tools to create, improve and implement an online business strategy from these answers.

WHO Is Your Customer? Where Are They? Not Just Another Target Market Post!

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur asks you to identify your perfect customerOn a regular basis, review and evaluate who your customer is and where they can be found. Then, review and evaluate the needs of your customer and how you are meeting those needs.

You must design/implement a business online presence/strategy that will appeal to that customer base and their needs.

Review your existing data on the following:

  • your target market
  • their demographics
  • their psychographics
  • their pain
  • your solution to their pain

If you do not have this information compiled yet, start now. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be.

Remember: attempt, fail, improve.

As your business evolves, so will your products and/or service offerings. As you meet the needs of your existing customers, they will ask for more.. or different. Sometimes, without even realizing it, you may veer off course so much that you now have a totally different customer base.

Take a few minutes now to analyze your customer base in-depth. Sign up for weekly tips that will take you step by step through this process. Or schedule an appointment for one on one instruction, if you want to get through this project yesterday. Start today or start tomorrow, but, either way you have to create this picture of your perfect customer, right now, at this moment. Don’t worry about making it all perfect – just get it written down.

Then we can start to create, improve and implement an online business strategy from these answers.

Your Online Presence – The WHY Component

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur asks WHY you want an online presence

Why Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last month we talked about the “2 Steps To An Online Presence That Does The Work For You”. Step 1 is the least sexy, tedious and time consuming part – strategy and planning. But, without this step, you are going to muck about in a lot of strange places, with no direction, no benchmarks and then give up before you get to an undetermined finish line.

If you are a builder like me, you don’t want to make endless lists and “plans” for the future. You just want to build and correct up as you go! Ok, so let’s do just that. Build and plan at the same time.

Get a piece of paper, a keyboard, a video camera or a recording device and then answer these questions for yourself. Don’t just think about it, you need that cranial space for more important things like remembering the steps required to build this plan!

The WHY Component – why are you creating or improving your online presence in the 1st place?

What are the tremendous possibilities when you do? Not sure? We can talk about this in-depth!
And what power do you unleash when you create an online presence on purpose, as opposed to letting your casual facebook updates do it for you?

And finally, how will this increase the dollars on your business bottom line? It will! I promise!

Take an in-depth look at yourself and why you are doing what you do. Sign up for weekly tips that will take you step by step through this process. Or schedule an appointment for one on one instruction, if you want to get through this project yesterday. Start today or start tomorrow, but, either way you have to get through this step to create this picture of why you are, right now, at this moment. Don’t worry about making it all perfect, just get it written down.

Then we can start to create, improve and implement an online business strategy from these answers.

2 Steps To An Online Presence That Does The Work For You

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur helps you create or improve your online presenceDo you want an online presence that does the work for you? GREAT! I want that for you too. Let’s cut to the chase and get started making this happen for you.

Step 1: Create Or Improve Your Strategy – your big picture.

Quit hiring people to build websites for you that you can’t afford and then don’t do what you wanted them to do anyway. Stop opening social media accounts and then walking away because you don’t know what to do with them. Don’t spend another dime, or minute on this until you can sit down and make a plan based on your unique situation.

Your strategy will be composed by answering these questions in-depth:

  • Why Do You Want An Online Presence?
  • Who Are You?
  • Who Is Your Customer? Where Are They?
  • What Tools Do You Use, How Do You Use Them, How Do You Track Them?
  • When Should You Use Each Tool?

Based on your answers to these questions, you will now have a plan, action steps and a timetable. Whoopee, you say. If you knew the answers to these questions, you would already have a rocking online presence. Ok, so, stay tuned each week as we dig into each of these topics. Or, you can schedule an appointment if you don’t want to wait.

Step 2: Implement your plan aka START.

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  • No more thinking about it, it is time to just do it.
  • It won’t be perfect: start, experiment, fail, improve, keep going.
  • Don’t freak out if you don’t meet your timetable goals – adjust, fix what can be fixed and keep going.
  • Seek the help of experts when you hit a challenge – don’t get sidetracked because you can’t figure something out,contact me!

That’s it. These 2 steps will get you to an online presence that works for you, everyday M-F, on weekends, on holidays, when you are on vacation, even when you are sleeping.

Will it be easy, quick, painless, free?

NO.

Will it be worth it?

YES.

Onward and upward!

What Techniques Do You Use To Do Your Marketing On A Consistent Basis?

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017Some things are easy to do and even easier not to do. Such is the case with most forms of marketing, but, especially social media marketing. It is easy to put off these tasks in favor of doing the ones that seem to bring the immediate money to you, such as closing a hot sales call, or doing the work that got sold, or talking with clients, or delivering orders. All of these things are necessary too and so much more rewarding, quickly. You make the sale, collect the check and perform the task or service. No guess work or waiting to see if your effort produced results.

Marketing is one of those things that you can postpone while you have the sales coming in. But, what happens when that pipeline runs dry? You got it – nothing – as in, you are out of work and the rent is due in and how are you going to pay those bills? Throwing a tweet out there at this point is so ridiculous, might as well go stick your head in the oven, at least that action would have results that you could see!

I wouldn’t advocate doing that last step, the results will not be pretty. So, what do you do instead?

Don’t let the pipeline run dry.

Easier said than done. I know.

Regarding the tasks involved in doing social media marketing, here are some things that I do, they might work for you. And please, share yours with me.

At IempowerU Online Entrepreneur we do social medial marketing rightFirst of all, I take the time to develop a strategy. Then, based on that strategy, I block out time in the day, the week or the month for the specific tasks required from my strategy.

Then I do them, at the same time every day, week or month. I decide what tasks can be interrupted, what tasks must be done at that time, and then I just do them.

Sure, there are LOTS of times when I don’t want to, or when I would rather do something else. But, when I am tempted to get distracted, I think about that empty pipeline. And I hate that much more than I do sticking to the routine of my marketing strategy.

As I develop the process of doing, I consider things like:

  • developing keystroke efficiencies for each task
  • saving templates for repetitive actions or steps
  • setting up a work sequence that allows having multiple windows open at one time. I move from one window to the next quickly. As I am saving on one screen I am posting on the next.
  • research and select internet tools that allow you to automate non-critical tasks

Most important of all, when developing your strategy, decide what is critical or non-critical. Example would be that unfollowing people on twitter is non-critical, responding to a true comment from a new follower is critical.

All well and good, but, how do you know if any of this is really doing you any good at all? It seems like you throw those tweets out there every day and still get no response. And how the heck does a tweet lead to getting a client?

Well, that is why you have that social media marketing strategy – same as you do for any other type of marketing. This strategy will be your guide. You will know who, why, what, where and when. There won’t be any guesses and you won’t have to ask that question again. Because in your strategy, you will plan for measuring the success of certain steps and then what to do next.

Using the comment box, let me know the techniques you are using. Until then, onward and upward!

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