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Lena West of Influence Expansion ruffled the feathers, in a good way, of my monthly Mastermind Group last Friday. She shared her 9-Step System for managing and thriving with social media and made it sound possible. While I won’t share her entire program, I do want to single out #1, which is to Make It a Priority.
I loved Lena’s analogy of social media being like a home renovation. Have you ever lived through one of those? It’s all around you. You can’t avoid it. You’re constantly tripping over it, but you’re not the one putting up the dry wall.
Your role in expanding your influence, as in GC’ing a home renovation is NOT to drive in every nail, but to be constantly vigilant, watching the progress, commenting and directing–”I’d like these hinges, thank you”–expressing your opinion and being a presence. Because, after all, it’s your house.
Same thing with building your brand or environment online. It needs to be top-of-mind all the time. You don’t need to pay attention to every brushstroke or wiring connection. But you do have to be alert and chime in, influencing and contributing your viewpoint. As Lena puts it, be a part of the conversation.
Included in #1, Making It a Priority, is the question, What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to say ‘no’ to in order to manage this ‘renovation’?
We all laughed out loud when Lena fessed up to having to let go of watching Judge Judy. What are you putting between you and your online reputation? Confessions, anyone?
Thank you, Lena!!
September 16, 2013 in branding, inspiration, marketing, social media, success, women business owners | Tags: Cafe Louise, desserts in jars, entrepreneurship, Katie Settel Photography | by janepollak | Leave a comment
Brilliant entrepreneur that she is, Louise Albin had the good sense to let her new hire pastry chef get creative.
Lesley, the pastry chef, did just that and came up with a line of desserts served in jars. Not only are they delicious and attractive, they’re also unique and address that sticky issue of portion control in the most visually appealing way. The jars have been a runaway success for Louise’s catering business, but it got even better last week when a bride did a google search and Café Louise came us first.
To match the decor of the venue where she’s getting married, the researching bride, who is from Germany, didn’t want a traditional, overly sweet, American-style wedding cake. It’s not her tradition and felt wrong for the environment where she’s having the wedding. She went online and entered ‘desserts in jars’ as her keyword search. Up popped Cafe Louise!
Thrilled that she found a caterer who ‘got’ what she wanted, she ended her search right there, rather than having to explain to someone who just did desserts in jars how to make it part of an entire banquet. When Louise gave the nod to a staff member to increase her social media efforts, this is the kind of result she could never have even dreamed of. As the result of a blog post about the Cafe’s newest product, there’s a new wedding on the calendar.
So, why isn’t Louise smiling? Because she is such a cool lady that when photographer Katie Settel, hired to shoot a recent vegan wedding Cafe Louise catered, suggested that Louise assume an American Gothic pose, this creative business owner grabbed not a pitchfork, but a dinner fork and got serious about the portrait.
No wonder she’s celebrating 20 years in business this year!
June 11, 2013 in business, communications, Education, inspiration, networking, self-promotion, small business, social media, women business owners | Tags: Joe Connolly, Lindsey Pollak | by janepollak | Leave a comment
I got to tag along with my daughter Lindsey last week when she was a featured speaker at the Joe Connolly-CBS Business Breakfast in Mahwah, NJ. In my humble opinion, she was the star of the panel on “How to Use Social Media, Etc.” I was extremely proud of her as she so articulately shared her knowledge and wisdom on the use of social media, particularly LinkedIn for whom she is an ambassador. I did get my own private tutorial on the ride home, but also took notes throughout the program.
Here are some observations and tips I wanted to share:
In the words of Joe Connolly, Business Reporter for the Wall Street Journal and WCBS-AM news, “The economy is better, but not good” and “There are flashes of momentum, but it’s not consistent.”
“Relationships are based on value, whether they’re dot com, hashtag or handshake.”
He polled the audience to see what percentage were up over last year. My guesstimate was that about 15-20% of the audience of 500 raised their hands. He also asked how many are raising prices, and again, it looked like under a 20% response.
One audience member, a Virtual Assistant, shared an improvement/addition she’d made to her business–a new offering called Pick My Brain. She had been giving away too much of her time over lunches, phone conversations and scheduled meetings. By establishing this program as part of her repertoire, she’s added income and reduced annoyance. She doesn’t feel like she’s giving away the store anymore.
Lindsey gave terrific information including a LinkedIn URL for researching alums from your alma mater. Go to linkedin.com/alumni and you can find everyone who went to your college or university. When I first tried pasting that into my browser, only 400+ names appeared. Lindsey advised me to be sure to select which years I wanted to see (only my college years showed up at first). When I broadened the range to 1910-2020 over 12,000 contacts showed up. In the above screenshot, two women I know and respect popped up front and center in my search. You can spend a lot of time on this page, viewing where they are now, what expertise they have and where they work. Invaluable!
Lindsey also let us know that your About page is the second most visited on websites ranking right after your home page. It’s a place to show your personality and be more real. Her advice for getting the most impact with the least amount of time is to focus on creating ONE fabulous presence instead of trying to show up on every social media site. If you’re a designer, develop an awesome Pinterest page. If you’re job-hunting, then zero in on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t try to master all of the possible places there are. Select one and go deep there.
These events are always invigorating. Have you networked lately?
Rarely do I promote someone else’s programs via my blog, but I feel strongly about Miriam Salpeter’s grasp of social media and her instructional style. I’m impressed not only with her expertise in twitter especially, but also how clear she is in communicating how to use it to build your business.
What could you accomplish with an insider’s information about how to use social media tools to achieve your goals?
If you’re looking to ramp up your social media presence, I highly recommend checking out this course offered by Miriam Salpeter. I know and trust Miriam, have personally worked with her, and I think the offer and value of this course is terrific.
Miriam’s course, “6 Steps to Social Media Success for Small Business Owners” offers two, 75-minute webinars, access to a private Facebook group for questions, and a copy of Miriam’s new book.
You can register here.
It wasn’t until I had received three pieces of information that I made the decision to submit my writing to the Huffington Post.
1. I heard Arianna Huffington speak at the Women’s Summit back in March. I totally fell in love with her and her message. What an inspiration, talent and all-around fun person! I wrote earlier how much her talk inspired me. I didn’t mention that she gave the audience carte blanche to write to her with ideas for HuffPo. There were over a thousand people in the audience. I thought, that’s nice, but she’s really not speaking to me. (Do you ever minimize offers?)
2. A member of my Mastermind Group mentioned that she had recently heard Arianna at a different event, submitted a post that went public in short order and got over 100 ‘likes’ on Facebook.
3. My dear friend and action partner, Sandy Weiner, has been posting regularly now for HuffPo, has withstood the slings and arrows anyone in the public domain endures, and has also substantially increased her client base with HuffPo readers.
Given those three elements, I re-thought Arianna’s offer, wrote a post and submitted it last Friday.
I just received word that it’s LIVE! I’m thrilled that it was accepted and published. I hope you’ll read it, spread the word, and let me know what you thought.
Here’s the link.
I’ve now clocked 6+ hours on LinkedIn and am looking for ways to challenge myself and go deeper (suggestions welcome).
I created a subgroup of Connectors – 259 people from my connections (out of close to 800) who have 500+ connections themselves. I am deducing that these are the men and women who are most seriously working this medium and who will pay attention if/when I post something to them.
I’ve increased the number of invitations I’m receiving, which I’m attributing to the saying, “What you focus on grows.”
I will make an outreach call to someone today whose website is dedicated to helping people on LinkedIn. I have to say, it’s overwhelming to me to be given 20, 30 or 100 things to do on LinkedIn. Please, can you give me ONE? Then I’ll try it. Offer 25, and I may need to take a nap to think about it.
One of the positive outcomes, so far, is re-connecting with people by through the InMail piece of this site. That feels good.
I’m a big believer in top-of-mind marketing, so being active in this way helps with that status. I did receive a referral last week from someone whom I had just reached out to connect with via LinkedIn. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
I put in my second hour this week towards my committed 3 hours a week dedicated to working LinkedIn. What’s different now than ever before is my attitude. I really want to do this. It’s no longer, “I know I should…” I want to!
I created a folder in Outlook for all email messages having to do with my new connections. I’d moved about 5 dozen postings there as responses came back to me after sending out invitations to connect.
Today, I went through that folder, read profiles, gave testimonials and sent messages to several beloved colleagues and friends.
I expect that in short order I’ll just go onto the LI site and read everything there, but for now, I’m doing it the way I know best. It may appear cumbersome to those of you in the know. Trust me, this is how I operate. Tortoise style. I know my own behavior all too well. I’ve learned to respect my pace and honor my perseverance. It works for me in the long run.
There was discernment involved. If the person’s profile had no photo and little content, I passed over connecting further. (It is Passover y’know.) That’s a clear indicator that s/he isn’t working the site. No judgment, but no need to delve further.
Or, if they had fewer than 250 links, I made a similar decision. I want to participate in this network with those equally committed. As I would any network that I joined. There used to be people who joined EWN just to have their name show up in the directory. I need more than that to do business with someone and to refer them to others. Showing up, in person or online, is a critical part of the equation and relationship.
I believe I’ve already gotten some business, though it’d be hard to track it directly. Since I reached out to colleagues starting on Monday, I received a message from a friend of one of those people asking for coaching. It might have been coincidence, but prefer to think that my action prompted this response.
It’s like the pigeon pecking the bar and receiving a pellet of positive reinforcement. This increased opportunity and activity is all I need to keep up the new behavior.
Social Media Architect Brian Bish addressed my Mastermind Intensive on Friday about the why’s and wherefore’s of social media. It was a convincing talk, and I’m seeing a good deal of activity among our members as a result.
Brian talked about the credibility of a strong web presence supported by a strong social media presence. I backed up this sentiment with a recent example. My new New York friend forwarded me an email invitation to a women’s conference (which shall remain nameless) in CT that she was considering.
Unconsciously, because it’s become second nature to me now, I googled the keynote speaker and went to her website to check her out. It was a nice site, but not a clear-cut draw for my attention.
Next, I went to amazon to see how her book, which was being heavily promoted on the conference and her websites, was ranked. Close to #2,000,000. Again, definitely NOT impressive.
Then I wanted to check out how many followers she had on twitter: 10 LinkedIn: 121
I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but through all the visible channels where YOU can make yourself known and get seen, I want to be sure that the keynote speaker I go to hear will offer me something I don’t already have. There was little evidence of that happening in any of the marketing materials or Web 2.0 locations to tell me that story.
Jim Rohn used to say, “People shouldn’t judge you by how you look, but they do.” We could update that to say, “People shouldn’t judge you by your online presence, but they do.” Or at least I do when it comes to spending my precious resources like time and money.