Category: Social Media Challenge

10 Day Social Media Challenge: Day 10: Where are Your Social Media Efforts Headed?

Where are Your Social Media Efforts Headed?

As I commented on my post Why You Should Invest the Time to Write a Blog, having a blog isn’t difficult, what takes time, patience and dedication is maintaing a blog. However, if you’ve found a niche that you’re passionate about, it won’t be a surprise if you find yourself completely engaged with the work that you do and work more than you had anticipated. As Natalie Sisson herself has said, there have been many times, when her friends have had to take the computer away from her so that she stops working. A new common request for you may be “step away from the computer.” Trust me, I’ve heard something very similar. But isn’t that lovely? Having something that your’e soooo passionate about that you don’t want to stop? That’s the beauty of blogs. And especially, that’s the beauty of working on something that truly inspires you.

Steering Blogging in the Right Direction

However, just like with anything we value, we want to keep healthy tabs on how our blog is doing. Not to the point that your’e obsessive compulsive about it, but just so that you’re seeing the direction that you’re going.

In other words, even though you may think that you’re on the cruise control heading down the right highway, you MUST take a moment to check out the dashboard and the windshield to make sure that you’re going to make it in one successful piece to your desired destination. 

This  means, that if something is obstructing your view (and hopefully that something isn’t you), you must remove it. Stop and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you getting good gas mileage ?
  • Or have you traveled very few miles despite an exaggerated and abnormal amount of driving (once you’ve established yourself in your market)?
  • Are you taking some time to refuel?
  • Are you being kind on the road?
  • Have you ensured that your windshield is clean so that you can see clearly?
  • Are you balancing, rotating and providing air to your tires so that they provide you with a smooth and safe drive?
  • Are you spinning your wheels?
  • Have you run out of steam?
  • Are you putting on your turning lights so that your followers know where you’re headed?
  • Are you reading the road signals correctly?


No matter how pleasant the drive, make sure that you analyze your dashboard often.
No matter how pleasant the drive, make sure that you analyze your dashboard often.

Tools for Tracking Your Social Media Efforts

In today’s blog post for Day 10 of the 10 Social Media Challenge, Natalie asks us:

  • How are you measuring and tracking your social media efforts online? 

Currently, I’ve installed Google Analytics on my site and I love seeing the uphill curve on my graph. The statistics on my site are on my WordPress dashboard, so I can glance on them with ease whenever I want.

In addition to Google Analytics, I’m planning on using the features on Hootsuite for tracking and for steering my presence online better. This can be done by setting up tabs, using keyword search to find where your’e mentioned.

I have already set up Google Alerts. I had already signed up to be alerted with some keywords, today I added additional keywords. It is such an easy tool to use and I will definitely be using this more strategically. According to Google, this is what you can use Google Alerts for, although the sky is the limit:

  • find out what is being said about their company or product.
  • monitor a developing news story.
  • keep up to date on a competitor or industry.
  • get the latest news on a celebrity or sports team.
  • find out what’s being said about themselves.

In the future, I hope to expand my audience to the point that I use Klout to see how I stand. Hopefully, I stand alone and successfully. 🙂

A service that I had signed up for, to monitor my own reputation, was Naymz. With it, you get a “RepScore” which indicates whether you’re considered a builder, established, a top member or an elite member. This is similar to Klout’s “Klout Score” that ranks how influential you are. In addition, you can find out if your peers:

  • Think of you as honest
  • Would Recommend you for a Job
  • Would Like to Work with You
  • Wrote an Endorsement
  • Would be Willing to be a Reference

You can find out this type of information by linking your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. So there’s much to explore in a service like this. However, my two cents are that your worth cannot be fully determined by either one of these services. There’s more to your value than that. 🙂

On another note, one interesting piece of information that Natalie shares is that:

Facebook Insights in particular now, allows you to track your reach, engagement and individual post metrics showing you what times of day you’re getting the most success and what type of content your audience responds to most.”

So in the future, I plan on paying attention to Facebook Insights so that I can get insights that are helpful but that I couldn’t find otherwise.

What Direction is Your Blog Heading?

When blogging, it’s important to remember that although you are in the driver’s seat, your audience has a very important and useful say in where your travels will lead you.

So now it’s your turn to ponder…

  • How are you measuring and tracking your social media efforts online?
  • How will you continue monitoring your social media strategy?

Please leave a comment below, letting me know, and if you find that these tools can benefit anyone, please share this post with them. 


10 Day Social Media Challenge: Day 9: Why You Should Invest the Time to Write a Blog

Why You Should Invest the Time to Write a Blog

Have you ever stopped to wonder that the majority of the things that we do in our lives are really not sustainable financially? In other words, many of us trade our time for our money… we are paid a predetermined amount either by the number of hours that we work or worse yet, regardless of the tireless hours that we work.

Blogging is a venue, a platform by which you can leverage your skills, services, knowledge and products. Translation: You can make money in your sleep, when you shower, when you have fun, when you eat, etc., once you have established yourself as a blogger.

In Day 9 of the 10 Day Social Media Challenge, Natalie Sisson asks:

  • How will you build a blog with purpose that you can also profit from?

The simple answer to that question is that I have to continue taking enough pride in my work, in my mission and in my value so that others perceive my work helpful. Furthermore, I have to continue doing what Natalie so highly recommends and that is, to continue perfecting my blogging craft/art/science. Yep, it’s all three.

You have something important to say… no matter what the medium is.

What’s Holding You Back from Writing a Blog?

For many of us, finding something purposeful to blog about that will solve a need or a problem for others can be challenging, but there are coaches like Natalie Sisson, and books on Amazon that can show you in much greater depth how to go about finding your niche. If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of niches, and how to go about using the knowledge that you acquire from them to build a sustainable business, Pat Flynn, from the website, is your man. (Natalie Sisson, of course, is your lady. :)) Pat is such a respected expert at all of this that I can’t yet fully wrap my brain around all that he has to share. However, what I fully enjoyed about Pat was his book Let Go, which you can find on Amazon. To me, that book represents the modern-day inspirational story given the economy that we have been in for the last several years. It will be THE best $2.99 you’ve spent in a long time.

Aside from having knowledge of what you have to offer and being inspired, in order to start a blog, you need most importantly have faith in yourself.

Dany Iny, from Firepole Marketing says this:

“Focus on ONE topic that will be of interest to ONE group of people. Then, when you start gaining popularity, you can branch out to include related topics, by leveraging the halo effect.”

What he means by halo effect is that if you do a REALLY excellent job in providing value to your following, and you come off as an expert in your topic, people will believe that your knowledge is more vast than your specialty topic. In essence, what you can do, is leverage your authority so that it works in your favor, and snowballs, as you write about multiple subjects.

One of the most common fears that people have is “putting themselves out there.” Natalie has the perfect response to that (which ironically is #2 on her list of top 24 lessons she’s learned as a blogger:

Get Over Yourself. There’s over 200 million blogs out there, if you’re going to create one make it epic. But don’t get hung up on writing your first post because you’re worried about `exposing yourself’. They probably won’t find it anyway. So take the plunge and hit publish.

Is Having a Blog Difficult?

Amazingly, the answer is no. There are people who claim that you can have a WordPress website in 15 minutes, some have even brought that time down to 7 minutes. So judging by those standards, it’s not difficult.

However, as with everything in life, the difficult thing is not “starting” something, but rather being consistent. It’s like a marathon, anybody can start it, but not everybody will finish it. The point with blogging is starting and finishing, starting and finishing, every day so that your blog is a little bit better today than it was yesterday.

But if you’re committed to starting a blog and feeding it, then here is a useful link by Michael Hyatt called, Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog in 20 Minutes or Less.

How Can you Write a Rave Blog?

One of the nice things about learning anything new is that the internet can help. Chris Brogan has a great list of 40 Ways to Deliver Killer Blog Content.

And it’s not that she is the host for this 10 Day Social Media Challenge, but Natalie’s website has a treasure load of resources which I have barely begun to tap into. To start off, you might want to read her EXCELLENT compilation of what she has learned in Top 24 Blog Lessons Learned in Two Years. She has been a great inspiration which I found at exactly the right moment in my life. And perhaps it’s YOUR moment! Voice your gifts, the world is waiting to listen, make them easy to find you.

Identifying Your Blogging Strategy Now Versus Later

Before any great thing in life, it’s important that you put thought into the WHY you will be starting what you’re starting. Make sure you devote some time to this.

After thoroughly thinking this through to the furthest point that your imagination, research, intuition and drive allows you, answer this question and share your comments below:

  • How will you build a blog with purpose that you can also profit from?

After you get a little head start on your blog, no matter how small, pay it forward and share your ‘how to start a blog’ teachings with others, including this resource. Happy Blogging!


10 Day Social Media Challenge: Day 8: How To Use Pinterest as the Treasure Box Where You Keep That Which You Cherish and Why You Should Share Some of these Things With the World

How To Use Pinterest as the Treasure Box Where You Keep That Which You Cherish and Why You Should Share Some of these Things With the World

Do you remember the days when you would marvel at someone’s photo album, peruse a year book for hours on end, or take great care of a toy or object that someone loaned you? Pinterest, is in many regards the modern-day version of people showing you visually, what they most care about and what they’re most interested in all in one swoop. On Pinterest, the importance of the visual, in all of its forms is heightened, and the noise of chit-chatter is lessened…. so that what you experience is like the encyclopedia of what the world finds beautiful. Better, yet, it’s the photo album of the world. But you know what? It’s the incomplete version of the album unless you participate and pin on there what you find the most beautiful.

Add your most meaningful pictures to Pinterest that give enhanced meaning to your future.
Give meaning to your persona and your business by adding meaningful pictures on Pinterest.

In Day 8 of the Social Media Challenge, Natalie Sisson invites us to take a good look at the reasons why Pinterest could be beneficial for our brand and blog by asking us:

  • How can you use Pinterest to create a compelling visual brand story that people love and drive new leads and sales?

One of the amazing things about Pinterest, is that it has the ability to encourage people to “spend around $140-180 through purchases they make via Pinterest, compared to around $70 for Facebook users.”

What is Holding You Back from Using Pinterest?

The first moment that I went on Pinterest, I fell in love. In minutes, I was using the “Favorite” button, creating my own categories and just marvelling at how many wonderful recipes, craft ideas, fashion, quotations and everyday tips were on there. So, if you’re thinking you’re going to have trouble doing this, don’t worry, because Pinterest is SUPER intuitive.

When I created my blog, I was unsure as to how whether I should use the Pinterest I had created or create a special one exclusively for my blog. Thankfully, Natalie answered this question with today’s post. It’s better to sign the Pinterest Business page and start building a visual story for your brand and business

How Can you Be Effective at Curating Your Pinterest Account?

You can effectively curate your Pinterest account by linking the Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and You Tube account of your choice. You sill still be in control of which pins are posted. Pinterest can be a great platform for you sharing your products and services through images. And when you write that ebook or book you’ve been longing for, be sure to include the cover on Pinterest! It’ll be something that you will definitely want to share. If you’re an affiliate for any services that you believe your audience can benefit from, you can add images of those services too, to increase exposure to those items.

You can also be efficiently pin items to Pinterest by using the “Pin It” extension tool Pin It Bookmarklet that you can set up in your browser so that you can quickly have access to this tool regardless of what page you’re on.

In order to add some pizzaz to your Pinterest board, you can used the Pinstamatic tool which can help you add maps, quotations, Spotify tracks and stickies on your pictures in order for you to prep Pinterest images with ease.

And if you’re pressed for time, and you simply want a snapshot of your webpage, with a tad of patience (e.g. waiting for just a couple seconds), you can use the Pinstamatic tool to take a snapshot of any website you want. You can then preview that image and/or pin it on your Pinterest board if you sign up for Pinstamatic’s service through Facebook or Pinterest. Or, if your’e the cautious type, who doesn’t like to give away access to your accounts, you can right click on the preview of that snapshot, save it on your computer, with your other photos or blog post pictures, and ‘PRESTO!’ you can then sign into your Pinterest account on your own and add those images. And you know what? This Pinstamatic “camera tool” can be the “camera” that you use to take pictures of your own blog/website simply to see and remember what your website looked like on one particular day. Or perhaps, you want to take a picture of a blog post that was featured on a famous site, take a snapshot of a guest blog post you wrote or an article that was written about you to keep it as a memento. This tool can be it. And, why not take notes on anything you want to treasure… like a blog, or a site… that has a lot of useful information? This could be your “note keeper” tool, also. Of course, I would highly recommend storing any of your treasured items in a blog post or using another tool that already stores them in a cloud for you. The neat thing is to have options and resources at your disposal so that you can choose from depending on what your desired outcome is.

What Should You Post on Pinterest?

It’s very tempting to pin traditional photos on Pinterest, since they’re the logical visual we associate with this platform. However, it’s important to include infographics, videos and text, in addition to photos. And if you haven’t discovered it yet, Picmonkey is an awesome tool for turning any photo, yours, or those that you can legitimately use on the internet to enhance them and convey the message you want to share with your audience.

And, just like any other platforms, be sure that you take the time to visit other people’s boards and pins in order to network and take interest in what others have done by using names, tags and hashtags to notify someone that what they’ve taken the time to curate, is something that you enjoy.

Pinterest is DEFINITELY not a platform where “reading” other people’s posts will seem like a chore, because amazingly, all the visual’s in someone’s board can practically immediately tell you if your’e want to spend the time going through that person’s Pinterest board or not. It will be very clear, very quickly if they’ve made a good impression on you or not.”

Interesting and Little-Known Facts that Will Help Your Pinterest Exposure

  • Use vertical pins, since they get repinned more often since they’re long and take more space in the Pinterest newsfeed and therefore get more eye-ball exposure
  • Create different boards to keep everything organized.
  • You can know when your website receives a new pin on interest through PinAlerts, so make sure you sign up for that service. Through Pinterest analytics, you can take monitoring your Pinterest account to the next level by knowing exactly who pinned from your website and then follow up with them as a way of showing your appreciation

Pinning some Reminders to Your To-Do List so that You Can Use Pinterest with Joy

in sum, using Pinterest is one of those “should-do’s” that will be a joy. Why? Because when you take the time to show the world what you love, treasure and like, especially in a visual form or in a form that you “craft” by using the enhancement tools mentioned above, there’s an inherent passion that shines through. So, while I’ll happily dedicate myself to implementing the tips mentioned above, now you tell me:

  • How can you use Pinterest to create a compelling visual brand story that people love and drive new leads and sales?
  • Do you have any success stories in how Pinterest has helped your brand?
  • Do you have any tips to better use Pinterest?

Please leave your comment below. I look forward to hearing from you. If you find that this information can help people curate what they think is meaningful and beautiful in the world so that the world’s photo album is complete, make sure you share this article with them.


10 Day Social Media Challenge: Day 7: Is Being on You Tube Worth Losing Your Fear and Discomfort of being in Front of a Camera?

Is Being on You Tube Worth Losing Your Fear and Discomfort of being in Front of a Camera?

When I was little, I was the type of girl who would love to get her pictures taken. Any camera had my smile, my attention and my flirtatiousness. Fast forward to now, and I don’t love pictures or videos very much. I am therefore quite hesitant to put photos of myself on You Tube. Unfortunately I am not particularly fond of my voice either. I wish my voice sounded more like Natalie Sisson’s voice. 😉 But I haven’t been as graced. Regardless, I have been reading several books this summer that talk about the great platform that You Tube is and the fact that it ranks fairly high with Google.

On day 7 of the Social Media Challenge, I am happy to see that Natalie puts it very plainly for us when she says

So hands down you need to be creating video. There’s nothing stopping you from creating a professional three-minute video that sells your business and acts as an online brochure for what you do.“

To convince us even further of how important You Tube really is, Natalie asks us:

  • How are you using YouTube to create powerful videos and gain more subscribers, fans and new business?

There was a time in my life when I could have sworn that I would never upload a video to You Tube, however by taking the risk and courage to be on a You Tube video, not only can I get exposure for my blog, but most importantly, I can povide value to others.

Sometimes getting rid of your camera-shyness can be worth it.
Sometimes getting rid of your camera shyness can be worth it.

Can You Tube be a Substitute for TV?

Yes! Without a doubt, You Tube can replace television if you are willing to make some tiny sacrifices. Of course you won’t be see your new episode of your favorite show live and when it airs, (but thankfully many TV networks provide their top shows for free on their network website, such as ABC and NBC), but what you will be able to find is a deep and rich treasure chest of knowledge.

Types of Videos You Can See on You Tube

Trust me when I say that this is just the tip of the iceberg as to what you can find on You Tube:

  • how to decorate cupcakes
  • how to do your hair
  • tips from your favorite bloggers
  • how to learn a computer software program
  • how to use social media platforms
  • how to fix your kitchen sink
  • live webinars
  • conference by famous keynote speakers I’ve paid hundreds to see.
  • segments from your favorite childhood show
  • highlights of some of your current famous shows

Suddenly, we have access to information that before You Tube existed, we would have needed to may money for.

You Tube has grown up and it’s much more than just a place to upload your funny or not so funny home videos. It is a place that has become the largest classroom in the world. What is most valuable is that according the the different learning modalities that there are,

What Resources Can You Use to Record Your Own You Tube Videos

With all the names of services being thrown around that can be used for recording You Tube worthy videos, it’s hard not to get confused. Thankfully, there are four simple choices that can fit your needs depending on the type of computer that you use:

As with everything in life, try out the various video recording resources and see what works for you. And don’t forget that your video camera, Flip camera, iPhone, iPad or iPod with camera can be good resources also.

Ensuring that Your Business is Camera Ready

Knowing how Important your presence on You Tube is:

  • How are you using YouTube to create powerful videos and gain more subscribers, fans and new business?
  •  how do you plan to share it?

If you feel so inclined, please share this article along with the following resources to people who you think would make the largest classroom in the world even better by teaching and inspiring on it.

34 Ways to Use Youtube for Your Business

7 Ways to Create More Engaging Videos that Rank Higher on Youtube

8 Ways to Maximize Your Youtube Marketing Results


10 Day Social Media Challenge: Day 6: How to Use Google Plus to Expand Your Ability to Listen to Several of Your Inner Circles

How to Use Google Plus to Expand Your Ability to Listen to Several of Your Inner Circles

Have you ever been insecure to approach someone either because of their beauty, fame, reputation or history with you? If so, you’re not alone. It does take courage to show up fully in your life for the people that you know and have been part of your inner circle for your entire life. It also does take courage quite a bit of courage to put your often insecure self out there and present yourself to the people that you don’t know… especially the world.

In Day 6 of the Social Media Challenge, Natalie Sisson asks us this question:

How are you using Google Plus to tap into your network and establish your authority?

Currently, I’m not using Google+ for either of these two reasons given that I just joined a couple of days ago. However, I have been a big fan of Google and all of their products, but I hadn’t jumped onto the Google+ bandwagon until this week. So even though knowledge of Google+ is limited, my first impression of it was grand and I’m really looking forward to using it more in the near future.

What Makes Google+ Super Valuable

For me, Google has always been superb at providing ease of use and value. Google+ is definitely not the exception. Many experts have been saying that it will be the next great thing, and who doesn’t want to be a part of that? 🙂 But seriously, the Google search features, innovation, market dominance, Hangouts (watch out Skype), Google Drive and the plethora of Google services that are too lengthy to list, makes Google+ a promising place where one can focus much of one’s energy all at once without hopping from site to site. This, in and of itself, provides a huge boost to productivity.

Don't be a blurry light in a circle. Rather, be a light that shines bright and isn't afraid to join other people's circles with confidence.
Let your light shine bright and                                                                                                      join other peoples’ circles with glorious and attractive confidence.

Something Amazing I Discovered about the Type of People Who Use Google Plus

Each of us has their own unique circles of family, acquaintences and friends. Let me tell you a little bit about my circle. When I signed up for Google+ this week, do you know who was there?

Amazingly, under the “Recommended People to Add” I saw people whom I personally know who fell into three categories:

  1. People who value their business and their customers and want to reach out to them, such as Natalie Sisson
  2. People who like innovation and are more prone to keeping up with important trends in a multitude of industries such as graphic design, photography, social media, entrepreneurship and human resources
  3. People who push the envelope and who because of their knowledge and increasing experience, are not comfortable just sticking with the status quo. They have leadership qualities in them no matter if they’re leading their life through example and are building a following or if they are shouting their messages worldwide (like a couple of people in my circles).

Perhaps this analysis is unique to my circle of people (or maybe it’s just pure coincidence), but I suggest that you analyze if the people in your Google+ account (whether currently or when you take the plunge and get an account) do in fact fall into these three categories mentioned above. Please be sure to leave a comment below sharing your experience.

The Best Way for Creating a Google+ Page

A Great Resource for setting up Google+ is called How to Create a Google+ Business Page. It has a few important tips for setting a basic profile. Most importantly, be sure to add HubSpot to your Google+ circles in order for you to get important updates about how to improve using Google+ in the Circle.

Your Turn to Wrap This Circle Up

It’s always neat to have something to look forward to in life. That’s why I hope that you are as excited as I am in sharing a couple of things:

  • How are you using Google Plus to tap into your network and establish your authority?
  • What type of people are in your Google Plus circle?

If you find that this information is useful for any of your Google+ circles, be sure to share it there and in your other social media platforms. After all, we as people, and our unique messages are what keeps the world interesting. So come join me in my circle. I look forward to hearing what your unique message is.


10 Day Social Media Challenge: Day 5: Are You On Track for Communicating Well on LinkedIn Professionally and Personally, and How Can You Tell?

Are You On Track for Communicating Well on LinkedIn Professionally and Personally, and How Can You Tell?

Remember when your resume was a private file in a folder in your home or in your home computer? Those days seem to be far from over, and for many people, it’s a good thing.

LinkedIn is a service that allows you to network online. In the business world, and according to the dictionary,

“a network is a group of people who exchange information, contacts and experiences for professional or social purposes.”

In Day 5 of the 10 Day Social Media Challenge, Natalie Sisson asks us to ponder on this question:

How are you using LinkedIn to establish your credibility, build your professional rolodex and attract new clients, partnerships or business?

Is LinkedIn Providing You a Good Foundation for Your Network Communication?
Is LinkedIn Providing You a Good Foundation for Your Networking Communication?

To Create or To Not Create a LinkedIn Profile

I have to say that for the longest time, when I worked for corporate America, I used to be very apprehensive about creating a LinkedIn Profile. I would question myself in the following ways:

  • Why create a LinkedIn profile if I already have a job?
  • What if my boss sees my profile? Will he think I’m looking for another job?
  • Why would anybody want to put their resume “out there,” with their address, phone number and all?
  • What can LinkedIn provide me with?

But, after talking to a dear and long-time friend, he shared his experience and his benefits for creating a profile and I did. You might be asking yourself, did I expose my picture, resume and all? Nope.

So to answer Natalie’s question… I haven’t used LinkedIn much at all. I’ve only opened it a couple of times. Truth be told, I haven’t really seen for myself how LinkedIn can be beneficial for me, personally. I know and agree 100% that it has been very beneficial for other people, but based on where I’m at in life, right now, I will add enhancing my LinkedIn profile to my to do list and will complete it after I become more adept at working with Twitter, Facebeook, Pinterest and Google Plus, in that order, and based on the analysis for what my goals are. Be sure to analyze which social media platforms are best for your audience and work on them accordingly.

How Might LinkedIn Benefit You?

There are people who have reaped great rewards such as:

  • getting a new job
  • getting references
  • interacting with CEO
  • creating business partnerships
  • increased their business
  • found friends

Of course, there are many other benefits and some people have been very “lucky” and make contacts with people that they couldn’t have reached in a million years.

How to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile

Natalie Sisson suggests having a personal profile and a business profile. What’s better yet, is in her blog post for Day 5, she provides a great checklist for improving your LinkedIn profiles.

In order to take your LinkedIn page to the next level and see how you can use it creatively, be sure to read this article titled, 5 Creative Ways to Use LinkedIn.

With everything going on in your life and business, you can get the nitty-gritty FAQs for how to best implement a business LinkedIn page by reading the following page, 10 Questions to Ask When Creating Your LinkedIn Company Page.

As with all social media tools, it will take knowing yourself, your audience, your resources, your creativity and your evolution to used LinkedIn in the best manner both professionally and personally, so be patient and diligent enough to tweak these profiles until they reach the greatest impact.

Your Turn to Make Contact

  • What was your one take-away from this article regarding how to use LinkedIn?
  • Given it’s room for creative potential, how have you used LinkedIn successfully?

If you so feel inclined, please share this article with your network.


10 Day Social Media Challenge: Day 4

Twitter can be an important tool in sharing your message, if used wisely.
Twitter can be an important tool in sharing your message, if used wisely.

How to Use the Little Twitter Bird Smartly and Feed it at the Same Time

When you go to someone’s home and you’re embraced with genuine open arms that make you feel like you were always supposed to be there and as a result, you question yourself on why on earth you didn’t come to this lovely place sooner, it’s because you feel genuinely loved and treasured. That is how Twitter makes me feel when I use it. By the looks of it, and based on the great opinions of other people that I’ve heard recently, that’s the way Twitter makes many people feel. This positive experience is what makes Twitter one of the most beloved platforms out there, despite the fact that it’s not necessarily the most popular.

There are spaces like Twitter, that make many of us inevitably feel at home.
There are spaces like Twitter, that make many of us inevitably feel at home.

So what is the Best Way to use Twitter?

If you are wondering how to best use Twitter, you are not alone. With all the hashtags, @ symbols and shorter links that you can’t really make sense of at first glance, it’s no wonder if you doubt whether you can embrace this unique platform when you first encounter it. It is necessary to learn a little bit about the ins and outs of Twitter to use it to its full advantage. But it’s important that you keep two things in mind:

  1. Of all the platforms, I think that the comfort you will feel when using Twitter will make you say, “Alright, I can learn this and I WANT to learn how best to use this platform. The nice people that I want to interact with and who are very kindly interacting with me are making my learning of Twitter more worthwhile.”
  2. Use Twitter to EDIFY and uplift people. As I said in my blog for Day 2 of the Social Media Challenge,

“Twitter is like a gift exchange reunion. It inspires you to learn about it to be able to share your gifts with others, but most importantly, it  inspires you to look within yourself and truly dig deep to learn what you succinctly have to offer the world.”

Looking at this rationale to learning more about Twitter makes this less daunting, more meaningful and more fun.

Looking for Unique Ways to Use Twitter?

In Day 4 of the Social Media Challenge, Natalie Sisson asks us to answer the following question:

How are you using Twitter to build your brand, engage with your community and find new customers?

In the time that I’ve been using Twitter, I have used it to:

  • Participate in live courses and provide live feedback for those courses
  • Vote for people on TV shows
  • Reach out to famous people (and have had them write back!! Yahoo!)
  • Retweet words by people who are famous and not famous yet (that’s the operative word)
  • Respond to friends and family
  • Interact with people who follow me
  • Share my vision
  • Increase my confidence
  • Promote other people’s services, writings and teachings
  • Provide inspiration to my followers

Here are some great resources for how you can use Twitter. Be forewarned that there’s lots of tips but if you do at least one a day, over the next month, you will have greatly improved your knowledge of and benefit from Twitter.

Given that there is so much to implement and learn when it comes to Twitter and other social media platforms, I will continue to work towards my efficacy on that and sincerely hope that you join me on this journey. Let’s branch out! Get it? 😉

Your Turn to See if You Heard this Post’s Tweet Accurately

Twitter is a platform such a rich experience and is conducive to such engaging conversation, that it’s hard to limit today’s questions to only one or two. So pick your favorite question below and share your answer in the comments section.

  • What do you use Twitter for?
  • How do you use it to interact with others?
  • What gifts do you give on Twitter?
  • What gifts does it give you?
  • What is the best experience you have had on Twitter?

If you believe that other people in your awesome network will find this article useful, please share it using any of your social media platforms that you are working toward really making the best use of.


10 Day Social Media Challenge: Day 3

Did you Know There are Widgets and Optins for Facebook?

I didn’t know until today thanks to Natalie Sisson. In Day 3 of the 10 Day Social Media Challenge,  Natalie asks a question that is personally embarrassing for me. She asks:

How are you using Facebook to build your brand and business?

I have to say that I haven’t used Facebook well enough. As I was writing my blog post yesterday titled How to Present Yourself in the Best Light in Social Media Platforms, and was creating analogies for what some of the social media platforms represent to me, I purposefully left my analogy for Facebook out based on the the lesson Bambi learned, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Don’t get me wrong, though. Of course there are good things that Facebook offers. However, I don’t know if it’s just me, or if I’m the only one that has experienced Facebook negative repercussions when I see people using Facebook for the wrong reasons, at the wrong time and by the wrong people. I realize much of this Facebook misuse has to do with netiquette. You know what I mean: People sharing way too much… including profile pictures of the unborn. I respect the choice that people have to post what they want. It’s a freedom that people wish to exercise and in many cases, it’s a guaranteed freedom. My personal philosophy is that everybody needs to treasure certain things SO much so, that at the very least, those things that they truly treasure remain sacred. I don’t know what it is about Facebook that makes people strip down, both literally and figuratively, and reveal as much as they can get away with. There is even a funny episode on Ellen DeGeneres in which Ellen calls out her guests on some of the photos that they post on Facebook without thinking that the photo they’re posting could be THE photo with which they’re publically embarrassed with on national television.

“If you want to push someone in your life away, post the most self-absorbed and insignificant Facebook messages you can think of.”

Look! Your name is in Lights on Facebook!

As I have been trying to convey, I don’t know what it about Facebook that causes ego and societal conflict. Yes, you read correctly. Conflict. It’s almost a war between the “haves” and the “have nots.” People ask, “How many followers do you have on Facebook?” “How many Likes did you get on the photo you last ate at a restaurant?” It’s almost like trying to keep up with the virtual Joneses. Now it’s not a matter of how  much money you have, it’s a matter of how many “Likes,” and “followers” you have. And the impact of bullying or public humiliation on Facebook, or any other social media platform, for that matter, can cost precious lives. The way some people use Facebook can sometimes be vicious , but what’s worse, is that we can be even more vicious with ourselves because we compare our “success,”  “value” and “popularity” with the Facebook measuring stick. I don’t know about you, but I really do think that YOU and I are much more valuable, lovable and worthy of Facebook psychometrics. Of course, I understand, and so should you, that Facebook is a wonderful business tool. But remember that it’s a tool, not the end-all-be-all gauge to who you are.

So how have I used Facebook? Not enough. Why? Precisely because I’m very cautious of doing exactly what has turned me off in Facebook all these years. Put bluntly, I don’t want to be the cause of somebody else’s negative experience with this platform.

There is hope for using Facebook in a Meaningful Way

This January, I was fortunate enough to join a private Facebook group hosted by a couple of authors whom I greatly admire. I was hesitant to joining because I had never been able to extract any real value out of Facebook, (even though I do have my followers and friends), but I joined the group so anyway and I’m super glad I did. It seems to me that the popularity and wide-open door that Facebook has is analogous to the world that we live in. There are many loud and disrespectful people on it. However, in a more intimate setting of a private Facebook group, people seem to “remember,” and thankfully “apply” their manners wonderfully, and for the most part, Facebook groups make you feel safer. Since then, I’ve joined other lovely facebook groups hosted by Natalie Sisson and Natalie MacNiel and I have to say, they too, also make sure that their Facebook groups feel homey and secure.

Caveat on my Interpretation

Perhaps my analysis of how many Facebook users sometimes cross the line is totally opposite of what you’ve experienced, and you see men, women, teens and age-appropriate children interacting supremely well at every moment. And that’s cool for you! Awesome. Or maybe it’s just a matter of interpretation, which is totally fair (so forgive me if I seem to be rambling on, on what to you may be a futile point). But what I know for sure, is that when you present yourself on Facebook, you ought to take Sally Hogshead advice into consideration, you HAVE to be fascinating. You can read her book Fascinate to learn more about how the world perceives you and how you can use your true essence to your advantage. Above all, be purposeful in how you say what you say. Add that unique oomph! Don’t be blah!

So given that I’m definitely not the Facebook guru you were perhaps expecting, please follow Natalie Sisson’s advice on the extra features that can make your Facebook business page truly wothwhile. In comparison to her wealth of knowledge, I have one tiny thing tip that I’ve learned in all my time using my personal Facebook. Edify! In other words, UPLIFT people and yourself by providing something of value. Edify your business. Edify your brand.

“Before posting anything on Facebook, ask yourself, ‘If somebody else posted what I’m about to post, would I personally find it valuable?'”

If you are sure you would find your post valuable, then great, go right ahead, post it (By the way, posting something just to laugh for half a nanosecond doesn’t count).  If you don’t find what you’re about to post valuable, do us all a favor and don’t post it. Apply the Golden Rule. In the words of Bambi’s lesson, but with a slight twist “If you don’t have anything truly interesting to say, don’t post anything at all.” I can guarantee that when you post UPLIFTING things perhaps you won’t get as many likes as if you posted other things (because not everybody “digs” the valuable and more profound things in life), but at least you can feel good, really, really good about what you posted… especially because you will know that you didn’t pollute the cyber ecosphere… and instead you planted what may seem like a tiny and insignificant seed that has the potential of growing into something great.

Plant seeds in the "blue box" platform that has the most potential for growth.
Plant seeds in the “blue box” platform that have the most potential for growth.

Making Sure You Apply the Tips

The purpose of this blog post was simply an invitation for you to reflect on your use of Facebook. So what do you think about the following questions:

  • How are you using Facebook to build your brand and business?
  • How do you use your personal Facebook profile successfully and purposefully?

I welcome you to join this discussion, which I’m aware is a bit controversial, by sharing your comments below. If you found this post useful, please share it with your friends, on Twitter, on Pinterest, via email, in Facebook— everywhere! 🙂  


10 Day Social Media Challenge: Day 2

How to Present Yourself in the Best Light in Social Media Platforms

Have you ever been to a party where you had an idea of who the people were, but you weren’t sure which circle to join?

In Day 2 of the 10 Day Social Media Challenge, Natalie Sisson asks a question that every person wishing to make the best use of their online presence should ask themselves:

Who is your target market, which social media sites should you be focusing on and why?

In the party example scenario, before joining any circle, you should definitely know one person. Whom? Yourself, of course! By knowing yourself, you will have the best idea about what value, conversation, “likeability” and services you can bring to that group. For example, if you’re typically shy do you think you will have a lot of value if you join the conversation of the hard-metal-loving group in the corner? Probably not.  Or if you are really outgoing and a party animal do you think that you would like to join on on the mores gloomy topics being talked about at a party. Mmm, nope.  Social media is like that.

If you want to know whom to serve, you must know what you have to offer.

This is probably a very simplistic premise, but it is one that is often overlooked. Many times, you want, strive, dream, plan and exhaust yourself trying to be everything to everyone. REALLY? You think YOU are going to be THE person to pull that feat off? In your dreams!! Actually, no, not even in your dreams.

So, before wanting to go out into the social media sphere trying to conquer every platform there was, there is and there ever will be, in addition to focusing on knowing thyself, focus on where your audience is. This advice is simple, but according to Natalie Sisson, very instrumental.

Meet your followers in the best platform possible with your best proposal of a better and brighter future.
Meet your followers in the BEST platform possible with your best proposal of a better and brighter future.

Just like with everything in life, there are gravitational pulls in social media which for some reason, attract and repel certain types of people more than they do others. One fantastic and very visual way to see which platforms your ideal clients or followers are most likely in, can be studied in a website by Social Media Today. In order to make your use of social media most effective, Natalie suggests that you focus on using three social media platforms as you’re starting to build your brand. After you have a solid grasp on these three, you can extend your reach using additional platforms. Natalie actually makes it easier for you because she encourages you to choose out of these platforms:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

The best media platforms for Love and Treasure Followers

So, when I stop to analyze my ideal follower demographics and where they are and where they can most likely be found in the future, I’ve concluded that I can be of greatest service by focusing on three media platforms:

1) Facebook: Regardless of whether or not Facebook is your favorite social media platform, Facebook is a must. Why? Because this is the platform that has the greatest number of subscribers. So if you literally want to reach the greatest number of people in the world, Facebook is the place to be. It’s really where “everybody” in the world hangs out.

2) Pinterest: There is something very alluring about Pinterest. Perhaps it’s simply that the human eye is naturally drawn to beautiful things, beautiful writings and beautiful people. Pinterest allows you to portray your message visually, in a beautiful setting, and in beautiful light that has the capability of directly attracting others. There are many things in Pinterest that people “love” and that people “treasure.” While both male and females have the same opportunity in appreciating the gifts that life offers, it’s advantageous for me to reach out to followers on Pinterest, knowing that they can have this sort of affinity to the truly “fine” and most valueable things in life.

To me, Pinterest is like a BIG and worldly treasure chest, where everybody holds and shares what is dearest and most appealing to them.

For people starting out online, Pinterest is a very useful place for increasing traffic and brand exposure.

3) Twitter: Even at the risk at sounding cheesy, there is something really endearing about Twitter, and this characteristic works especially well for my audience. It goes beyond the cute blue bird Twitter uses for its logo. If Pinterest is a treasure chest, Twitter is a unique party in which people give and receive gifts. You give a gift of your brand and message, you receive a gift of someone else trying to reach out to you to give you their brand and message. You give, you give you take. It’s a really ying and yang interaction… and the energy on this platform feels really balanced. I’m proof that Twitter is ideal for increasing your brand exposure and family interaction, since most of my followers are on Twitter. I’m really grateful for that and I’ll continue to be very loyal to Twitter.

If there is a social media platform that truly and warmly welcomes you with open arms, it’s Twitter.

How to Put Your Best Foot Forward in Social Media

Once you’ve identified where your audience is, it seems that there are two potential problems you can face when it comes to social media.

1) You don’t know what to write

2) You have a lot to write and/or you’re easily distracted by all of the updates that the FFF post (your followers, family and friends post). So while it’s perfectly acceptable to engage with them, do have some parameters so that you don’t go overboard supporting everyone and everything EXCEPT your vision. If you have a slightest ion of “the disease to please” you have to be extremely vigilant about this.

Solving this dilemma of being strongly magnetized to social media or not has a solution. You must view social media as your friend. While it’s very tempting, you can’t be a hermit and expect people to know about your work. You have to embrace the people who can become your readers, followers, customers, critics, friends and even your best teachers by putting yourself out there.

Most importantly, regardless of what happens “out there” in the social media sphere, you have to have one commitment to yourself: BE DISCIPLINED. You need to do the work to take you forward and up and you have let yourself be seen.

How to Be Prepared to Provide Value when Your Audience Listens to You

Some great strategies that you can set in place so that you are as effective in your day as possible and as confident in your message as you can be are to:

1) Identify what Natalie Sisson affectionately calls your MIA for the day (Most Important Actions). Cool, it rhymes! MIA for the day. In other words, ask yourself: what are the 3 most important things that you have to complete that day?

  • Write them down, preferably in Penzu, an online journal that you can use to keep your journal safe in the cloud. There is a free version and a paid version that offers special customizations. By clicking the link above, you’ll be able to get 20% off the Penzu Pro $19.00 per year membership and have it come out to about $15.20. So for a little bit more than $1.00 a month, $1.27 exactly, you’ll have a journal that you can access anywhere, including your mobile devices.
  • Once you’ve written your three MIAs for the day, like the sun shining its bright light through a magnifying glass, make sure to focus on those 3 things until you tear them up (a.k.a. accomplish them). You’re allowed to do nothing else until you are finished with those three things. Rest assured, it can feel like a punishment at first, but really, accomplishing those three things will make you feel like your day is totally flowing and you’re on track.
  • At the end of the day, write down what your three MIAs will be for the following day. That way, when you start your work day, you know exactly what you have to get done as you’ve review your MIAs at the end of the word day each evening and the beginning of your workday each morning. This will definitely help you build momentum and focus.

2) Get help focusing. From time to time, all of us have trouble focusing on what we need to focus on. However, just like when you have a trainer, parent, friend or coach by your side, if you are told to take baby steps and are held accountable for doing so, you won’t be as prone to finding a task as daunting. Tomato Timer is an excellent tool for holding yourself accountable for 25 minutes of uninterrupted doing.

  • You visit the site, you start the timer in Pomodoro mode
  • You work nonstop on your task
  • After the timer goes off (and rest assured it will),
  • You reward yourself by taking a short break to get your blood and energy flowing
  • After your little break, you come back to continue working for another 25 minutes using the Tomato Timer
  • Repeat this process however many times is necessary.

You can even enable the Tomato Timer desktop alerts on Google Chrome so that a pop-up window appears unobtrusively but noticeably on the upper right hand corner of your screen so that you know when you can get up and at least stretch.

Another tip that you should look into for increasing your productivity level is to evaluate your personal noise preference or tolerance.

  • Do you work better when your in a silent atmosphere?
  • Do you prefer to listen to your favorite tunes while working? (iTunes and Pandora are great sources for pleasant musical entertainment)
  • Or do you find that ambient/classical music does wonders for you? Focus@will is an excellent site for playing calm music to help ease you through your to-do list as painlessly as possible.

3) Identify when you are more productive and produce your most vigorous work during this time. If you’re a morning person, be prepared to wake up earlier to have a greater amount of blocked time to be as productive as possible.

4) Create your schedule based on these premises so that you can squeeze your sweetest and best work out of yourself when you are “fuller” instead of when you’re running on empty.

Time to Show You Treasure these Tips

Who is your target market, which social media sites should you be focusing on and why?

What tips will you use to allow you to focus on bringing the best value to your site which you can then share via your chosen social media platforms?

Which resources that I recommended did you like and will you share with others?

Please leave an answer to your response in the comment section below. And if you find that the resources and tips shared here are of value, please “Like,” “Tweet,” “Pin,” email or Share with your circles. After all, you know yourself, your friends, your customers better than I do and can identify where they are so that they are better than I can. Thanks for stopping by, but please, go out today and be of true service to others by sharing the talents that you know you have and shouldn’t be afraid to share.



Social Media Challenge Day 1

How Can You Learn to Use Social Media to the Best of Your Advantage and at the Same Time, Help your Business Grow?

Do you often wonder what the best course of action is to make your time invested in social media worthwhile for you and your following? You are certainly not alone. Today I’m super excited to be starting off the 10 Day Social Media Challenge graciously hosted by Natalie Sisson. I would highly recommend that you join me in this journey because there is always something I can learn from my favorite social media guru, Natalie Sisson.

While I may not have all the answers for how to be effective and efficient when it comes to social media, I would like to share what I’ve found so far.

It Doesn’t matter if You Want to Make Your Tweets Tweetable, Your Facebook Posts Likeable or Grow Your Google+ Circles… you must Interact with People as You would in a Get-together”

While it is not a secret that social media can help you grow your business, it is important to know that social media, is really not about your opportunity to stand in your soap-box and yack about your products. Rather, it’s the opportunity for you to learn from the world to be able to serve them better.

Remember that true communication is a two way street.
Remember that true communication is a two-way street.

You would think that more is more for companies like McDonalds to continue to make the millions that they’re making, but according to Rick Mulready, McDonalds has found that it only needs to Tweet once every four days. Why? Because its followers don’t want to hear more from McDonalds via Tweets. You can learn more about this by following the interview he had with Natalie by visiting the TSE56 iTunes podcast.

Five Ways I can Improve My Online Presence and You can too:

1) Attend Hootsuite seminar to learn how to make better use of this tool. I would like to see how I can automate posts to social media so that my presence is consistent and purposeful.

2) Apply for Google + and start seeing how I can make good use of it.

3) Identify which of Natalie’s online media tools from her social media recommended tools can help me better improve my online presence and apply them.

4) I would like to have a list of people who I want to reach out to, to say a simple thank you, to compliment, to praise, to retweet, to learn more about or to blog post on. Establishing relationships is what is key. I will keep this list on a Google Drive spreadsheet because it’s a safe and accessible place to add this information to. You can access this feature by clicking on “Drive” if you already have a Google Apps or Gmail account. If not, learn more about Google Drive and sign up.

5) I would like to automate posts and interact my social media contacts at a time that works best for my following. I would like to modify my personal schedule and my momentum to increase productivity and efficacy. As a matter of fact, I will include reminders of when to add things on my Google Calendar so that I am consistent with this task.

You Are the Leader

While there are many online tools out there, it is important to always consider your audience, your brand, your following and your successes. What may work for you may or may not work for me and vice versa.

No matter how great your content and strategy is already, please note that there is always room for improvement. For example, have you capitalized on the different learning modalities by creating a podcast? If not, you can learn how to create awesome podcasts by learning from Natalie’s “How To Start a Podcast that Matters” ebook, which you can obtain for free by subscribing to Natalie’s podcast, listening to a few, leaving a review, providing her with the contact details for that review and receiving this ebook in your inbox simply by following the instructions on this page.

Making Sure You Follow Up with What You Treasure

  • What are three ways you can improve your current social media strategy today?
  • How do you plan on making these changes?

Please leave your comments below. Furthermore, if you find that this article can be beneficial for anybody you know, please feel free to share it via any of the available social media platforms.