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10 Ways To Build Your Online Reputation

This post is updated from December, 2010.

Social media presents a unique opportunity for anyone to develop a personal or business reputation to build their careers, boost sales and increase relationships. The key is to leverage the tools of the Social Media to effectively build your online reputation. You need to understand what your goals and intentions are in order to be successful.

Here are 10 ways you can be successful in this journey, so you can achieve your short and long term goals rather than waste time:

1. Be aware.Continually listen to conversations happening across the Web related to your career or business and learn from the content you read, listen to, or view online. Social media success depends as much on listening as it does on publishing.

2. Be focused.Define your niche and focus the majority of your social media participation on conversations and content related to that area of focus. A focused brand is more powerful than a broad brand. Always lead with your strengths on the social media and be consistent in your content and conversations in order to successfully build your online reputation.

3. Be authentic.Your social media participation is useless if your content and conversations read like corporate rhetoric or a promotional brochure. Instead, be real and be human. Imagine you’re speaking with your audience in person rather than online and adjust your content and tone to match your target audience’s needs and expectations for you based on your brand promise. This is where videos can be a great tool for people to really know who you are.

4. Be trustworthy.Honesty is an essential part of building your online reputation using the tools of the social media. Transparency isn’t just a buzz word, it’s a strategic imperative, which should apply to your social media participation as well as all other aspects of your career or business.

5. Be meaningful.The content you publish on social media must be useful and meaningful to your target audience or there is no reason for them to read it or start a dialogue with you about it. Furthermore, if your content doesn’t add value to your audience’s lives, they won’t talk about it and share it with their own audiences.

6. Be “non-self-promotional.”No one will want to read your content or interact with you on the social media if your content and conversations read like a marketing pitch. Follow the 90-10 rule of marketing and spend 90% or more of your time in social media activities that are not self-promotional and only 10% or less on activities that are self-promotional. When you do want to directly try to get more exposure to build your online reputation, you can do so without annoying other people.

7. Be accessible and responsive.An important part of building your online reputation via social media participation is understanding that it’s not all about you. Instead, you need to spend a great deal of time acknowledging other people on the social media in order to build a relationship with them. In other words, they need to understand that you care about them, too. You need to respond to questions, comments on your blog, tweets, and so on.

8. Be reciprocating.You can’t expect people to reach out to you and share your content on the social media and not return the favor. If someone engages with you on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or another social media destination, then you can’t ignore that person — just as you wouldn’t ignore someone in a face-to-face situation. For example, you also need to leave comments on other people’s blogs, share their content on Twitter and Facebook, and more. You can’t operate in a silo on the social media and expect to be successful.

9. Be uncontrolling.The thought of giving up control and letting your content, conversations and name spread across the Web can be frightening. However, without the sharing of content and interactive dialogue that happens on social media, your online reputation cannot develop. You have to be willing to give up control and let people share and talk about you and your content in order for your online reputation to grow. Don’t worry about negative buzz about you, your brand, or your business. There is always a way to react to negativity on the social media.

10. Be involved.Don’t spend all of your time in one place. While quality is more important than quantity when it comes to building an authentic reputation online, you do need to spread your wings and be social. Focus on other avenues such as a blog, YouTube, Google Buzz, Backlinks, and much more. You need to use all aspects of Internet Marketing in order to see return.

10 ways to build your online reputation: 10 ways you can be successful in this journey, so you can achieve your short and long term goals rather than waste time.

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Putting Together a Social Media Schedule

This is updated from a post on Oct 26, 2010.

One of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?

Well it is a two sided road; I mean we all have to put in our efforts to read other peoples stuff as well. My tip for that is picking your inner circle of people and people you have made a power partner and start by reading their newsletters and/or emails. The same thing goes with our social media posts. We want people reading our post, tweets, events, questions etc. also emailing us wanting to work with us or learn more about what we do. We have to do that with others. The one thing I always say about social media is it brings people, communities, and companies together all over the world.

So how do we do that? It is easy . . . we put together a weekly schedule and then we implement it into our routine just like checking emails, and making calls.

Monday- Using www.Hootsuite.com schedule your posts to go out onto your Facebook personal page, Facebook business page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Ping.fm. Using my post before this one to help first create your strategy so you know what you need to post on your social media profiles and when. (Schedule an hour and a half to start)

Tuesday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Wednesday– Spend some time on LinkedIn checking emails and finding people you may know and ask them to connect with you. (Schedule 45 min)

Thursday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Friday – Repeat what you have done Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We are going to add another step into today, Once you are done adding people on Facebook and Twitter you want to go back to Facebook and go to your page, under your logo you will find a tab that says “Suggest to Friends” Click on that and then click the drop down tab to your list you made once that list pulls up on the top right hand side it will say “Select All” hit that and then send invitations. What this is doing is asking all the people you have been adding as friends to become a fan of your page!

Now this is what I do and share with people you are more than welcome to move it around however it works for you. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions of things that have helped you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Putting together a weekly social media schedule: ne of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?

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Internet Marketing: Power of the “Wall”

The other day I was speaking with a new client and she brought up an interesting point . . . have you ever thought of this? Years and years ago we used a “wall” to communicate with the world.

People would write on walls and rocks telling their stories, telling about their journey, what to expect and educating each other. Now millions of years later we have started to use a “wall” on Facebook and Twitter to communicate; sharing our stories now, what we have learned, how we can educate and help people across the world. Obviously our way now is a lot faster and e bit easier. Interesting how things come around.

What’s that saying, “don’t reinvent the wheel”?  Thinking of how a “Wall” has always been a way to communicate across the world to others, back then it took a lot longer and was much more artistic in a way.   Now we have the world at our finger tips and we are only a “wall” post away from communicating with people all over the world.

When I entered the Internet Marketing world it seemed so surreal to me, being able to send emails, instant messaging, pictures, documents, etc so fast and being able to do business with people all over the world.  They did not even have to be in the same city as me as the internet it allows us to do business everywhere! That is the beauty of Internet Marketing, we are able to now grow our businesses nationwide and build those relationships in order to do that.

Internet Marketing can work wonders for your business if you provide a service that you can do from anywhere or have an online store that people can order from anywhere. Have you ever read the book “The 4 hour work week” or “Beach Money”? These books talk about being able to have an online business where you can work from wherever you are and all you need is a computer and internet access.  They talk about setting your business up in such a way where you are earning residual income so you do not have to be sitting in front of the computer 24/7 working. If you set up your Internet Marketing plan correctly,  you can do this with your business as well!

I challenge you this week to take a look at your Internet Marketing strategy and see if it includes the following things:

  • Social Media Plan (Facebook, Facebook Page, Twitter, and LinkedIn)
  • Have a real blog (wordpress or blogger)
  • YouTube Channel
  • Posting Blogs and video blogs at least once a week
  • Using other online tools like; Google Maps, Yelp, Four Square, Plaxo etc.
  • Making sure you have your backlinks set up to your blog ( You can use Squidoo for this)
  • Educating people via your blog posts and social media posts

If you need help figuring out an Internet Marketing plan I would love to assist you. I look forward to seeing more of you online.

Power of the wall

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4 Ways to Get Readers to Spend More Time on Your Blog

4-ways-to-get-readers-to-spend-more-time-on-your-blogA blog’s success greatly depends on its readers. Without readers, all those content you’ve created will go down the drain. The problem is that, modern internet user have short attention span.

More often than not, people will browse through your post for a few seconds. If you fail to give them what they want, their cursor will be heading to the back button and on to another site. You’ve worked hard creating those contents, but why isn’t anybody sticking around to read your posts?

Here are 4 ways to get your visitors to stay on your site longer.

Provide them with valuable content

Content remains the number one reason people visit your site. You need to provide readers with valuable content. This includes detailed information about your products, educational tools, industry news or updates.  This will give you an opportunity to share your knowledge with your prospects and will eventually help you build a loyal fan base.

Use subheadings

Most people will scan through a post and just pick out pieces of information they need. Make it easier for them by using subheadings with descriptive wordings. This way, it will be easier for them to find what they need and allow them to jump to the appropriate section if they wish.

Ensure fast loading time

Your site speed is also critical to its success. No matter how interesting and informative your contents are, people may not be interested to read them if your site takes too long to load. Remember, you only have a few seconds to convince people to hang around. A sluggish site will cause you to lose readers and subscribers. Don’t make people wait.

Make it visually appealing

People make snap judgements. In fact, it only takes less than a second for people to decide whether they like your site. You want to make sure you make a good first impression.

Aesthetics play an important role in first impressions. People like to look at pretty things. A visually appealing blog can attract attention, and may even convince them to stay for a little longer.

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Social Media Myths That Cripple Marketing Campaigns

As a start-up business, you are probably working on a limited capital. You’re trying to do everything yourself because you still can’t afford to hire people for your marketing campaign. It’s no wonder you chose to introduce your brand and reach out to your target audience through social media.

Social media is a powerful tool for business owners, especially for start-up entrepreneurs. In fact, it has grown in popularity over the past decade and has contributed to the success of several businesses all over the world. However, there are a number of myths floating around. These myths can ruin your chance of selling to your target audience.

Let’s put these social media myths to rest.

You need to be on every social networking site

Maintaining a social media account takes time and effort. There’s no point in opening an account on Instagram if your target audience isn’t there. What you want to do is to determine where your audience, and focus your efforts on those platforms.

Blogging is a waste of time

With so much information on the internet right now, some of you may think that creating a blog won’t help you reach your bottom line. But the truth is, a business blog is a great way to capture the attention of your target audience.

Make sure that you supply them with interesting and informative blogs, and they’ll surely be coming back for more. Give them tips and share your knowledge with your audience. Eventually, people will see you as an industry expert.

You need to be online 24/7 to be successful

While regular posting and fast response is important, you don’t need to monitor your social media accounts 24/7 just to build a strong social media presence. We understand that you’re busy, but please make sure that you have at least one social media post per day. Post less than that and your fans and followers will eventually forget about you.

Your social media accounts can replace your website

Although it’s easier to reach out and engage with your potential and current customers on social media, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t update your website from time to time.

Write blogs, provide updates about your recent projects, and then share them on social media. Use it to attract your audience. Encourage people to share your post or voice out their opinions. Because these social media posts are linked to your website, it can help drive traffic to your website. Remember, the more professional your website is, the more advantages you can gain.

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Signs It’s Time to Outsource Your Online Marketing

BIMS_9.1As a business owner, you want to oversee every aspect of the business. But as the business grows, you will then realize that you can’t do everything on your own. You need to delegate tasks so you can focus on things you do best. Knowing when to hire people is an important part of building a successful business.

In this blog post, we’ll give you 4 reasons why you should outsource your online marketing. Read on and find out if it’s time for you invest in the services of offsite experts.

You don’t have the right skills

At some point in time, you’ll be facing certain challenges you can’t solve on your own. Rather than spending countless hours trying to come up with an effective marketing plan, it might be best to pay someone else to handle the marketing side of your business so you can focus on providing quality service to customers and make more money.

You’re not producing enough fresh content

If you want people to find your website, you need a steady supply of fresh, quality content. But if writing isn’t your forte and you find yourself putting off the task until a few hours before the deadline, why torture yourself? Let an online marketing agency do the work for you while you sit back and enjoy the results.

You’ve reached a plateau

You’ve seen some promising results in the past, but after a few months, you realized that you’re not getting promising results.  Keep in mind that it is a fast-changing environment and you need to keep up in order to succeed. Outsourcing will help you keep up with the rising demands of your marketing.

You seem to be running behind

This is common, especially for small business with only a handful of employees. Your business is growing fast and their workload is starting to become heavy. Eventually, you’ll find that all your projects get pushed against tight deadlines and you seem to be running behind on projects and campaigns, it may be time to consider bringing in a new team.

 

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Strategies to Keep Your Business One Step Ahead of the Competition

bims_8.10Every business owner wants his business to stay ahead of the competition. But if you want to remain successful, a lot of things should be done and most of them are not particularly easy.

Here are some strategies that you can use to keep your business one step ahead of the competition.

Know your competitors

Entrepreneurs can enjoy great benefits by keeping track of their competitors. While we urge you to spy on your competitors, we discourage you from duplicating their ideas. Your goal is to see what they are offering and what their unique selling point is. Figure out a way to make it work for your business and use this knowledge to your advantage. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to do it better than they did.

Build a relationship with your customers

You and your competitors will be competing for the same customers. Whoever wins will receive a bigger segment of the market.

It is easier to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new one. All it takes is a better offer from a competitor or a single negative experience. Show your customers how much you value them by interacting with them through social media and improving customer service.

Never stop innovating

In order to succeed in today’s quickly developing world, you need to change more often and sooner than you think. What might be working for you today might not be effective in the future.

Innovation is the key to sustaining your company. If you want to satisfy your target audience then you need to give them what they want. But most of the time, their wants and needs change. You need to be able to keep up with the demands of the people. Follow consumer trends and try to keep up with the developments in your sector.

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Choosing the Right Channels to Reach the Right Market

BIMS

Choosing the right channels to reach your target market is a crucial decision. It is important that you know where your prospects and customers are spending their time online.

With Twitter, Instagram and Facebook leading the pack, most businesses are tempted to use more channels and to have a presence on multiple social media platforms. Of course, the more social media sites you use, the more customers you can reach. But it also increases cost. If building presence in multiple channels does not bring about extra sales, then you’ll end up spending more for little or no benefit.

Here’s a quick set of considerations as you select the right social networks to reach the right market.

Twitter

You should use this channel if are looking to reach younger men and women. Since Twitter appeals to information junkies, it is also a great choice if your business lends itself to the provision of timely insights or topic-based news.  It is also a two-way platform wherein you can engage and interact with your followers.

LinkedIn

If you are seeking to make business connections or are in B2B and you wish to provide useful insights to people thinking about their work, then LinkedIn is right for you.

It is optimal for industry-specific information and peer networking since most users are in work mode on LinkedIn. Given the educational levels and high income of the average LinkedIn users, this channel offers a distinct audience worth targeting.

Facebook

If you are looking to reach as broad a network as possible or wish to build a community presence, then Facebook is right for you.

Despite the introduction of new social media sites, Facebook is still one of the most popular sites, with more than 70% of online adults actively participating. However, since most people use this platform to connect with their family and friends, it may not be the best channel to reach your target market.

Instagram

If you have a visual aspect to what you do and what your customers are interested in, then Instagram is the right channel for you. Given its popularity among urbanites and its appeal to specific ethnic segments, Instagram can also be a good choice for certain market targets.

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Solutions to Common Lead Generation Problems

Generating leads for your business is not an easy task. It requires a lot of work. If it would make you feel better, we’d want to let you know that there is a ton of other marketers who are also struggling with the same troubles.

In this article, we have rounded up some of the most common lead generation problems along with the solutions to help you get things rolling in the right direction. Read on and we’ll tell you more about it.

Low traffic

Your ability to produce a steady stream of traffic is important as it affects your ability to turn visitors into leads and leads into paying customers.

If your traffic is leveling off, then optimization is necessary. That being said, you might want to conduct keyword research. On-page SEO practices like the use of keywords in your title tags, headers, meta-description, links and URL will help you boost your search engine results ranking.

Unqualified leads

Producing tons of leads is great, but it’s the quality of incoming leads that will influence the success of your business.

The best way of addressing unqualified leads can only be summed up in 2 words: buyer personas. In order to capture the right leads, you first have to determine your target audience and capture their attention.

Tight budget

If you think lead generation is challenging, it could be even more challenging if you are working on a tight budget. When the money tree shrivels up, you should have a plan in place in order to sustain lead generation.

If you are focusing on traditional methods or PPC, we’re not surprised why you are sweating profusely. Well, we’re not insinuating that inbound marketing is free, but there are a lot of methods that you can use without sucking up your entire budget.

Lead generation doesn’t always have to be costly. This is especially true if you think smarter, not harder.

 

 

 

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Social Media Red Flags: 5 Signs You’re Using it Wrong

The sheer value of social media marketing combined with the rapid rate in which these platforms are progressing is something most business owners and companies cannot cast aside.

Social media marketing works and is here to stay. Everybody knows that. But that does not necessarily mean you’re using it right.

In an attempt to help you, we have outlined 5 signs that you’re using social media wrong plus a few tips on how to fix it.

Not updating regularly

Not sticking to a regular posting schedule is the most common mistake new social media marketers commit. If your profile runs dry for a few days or weeks, your followers may fall out of habit of checking in with your business.

Your tone is inconsistent

The internet is a noisy place. If you wish to cut through that noise, then you have to employ a unique tone for your business. Employing a unique voice will help you build trust, build and maintain your reputation and engage in meaningful conversations with your followers. Without it, your message shall be left twisting in the wind.

You are constantly broadcasting

Social media is all about interaction. Sending your thoughts in a one-ways fashion will not help you in any way. Instead, you’ll be missing out on the powerful benefits of engaging with people.

You ignore negative comments

No matter how popular your company is, you can’t prevent negative comments from coming. Instead of ignoring or deleting them, it would be best to offer your sincerest apology, provide them with a candid explanation and any actions you might want to take. Plus, re-assure your client that this won’t happen again in the future.

You are focused on quantity

When it comes to building a social media following, you should not focus on quantity alone. You may have a lot of followers but if your engagement rate is close to non-existent, then you’re definitely doing it wrong.

Build a following that would help you grow your business. Try to connect with people who would find your contents useful and whose content you can benefit from as well.

 

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