Tag Archives: marketing

Ep. 4: Katt Stearns, Social Media Strategist

Katt Stearns Shares Her 3 SECRETS to SUCCESS!

My goal with POD Sisters is to share stories, inspirational lessons, life affirmations, advice on balancing family, friends and business. So many women manage it all so well, and they have valuable information which can help and motivate others. The sisterhood we all belong to is incredibly powerful, truthful, honest and supportive.

I want to celebrate different women, and the myriad of roles, jobs, dreams, life paths and journeys.

Ep. 4 Katt Stearns: Social Media Strategist

Katt Stearns of Katt Stearns Consulting shares her secrets to success
Katt Stearns of Katt Stearns Consulting shares her secrets to success

On EPISODE 4, I chat with Katt Stearns, owner of Katt Stearns Consulting and one of the team behind We Make Stuff Happen.

Katt was nominated for the BC Small Business Emerging Entrepreneur in 2014, and winner of the Digital Marketer of the Year in 2015. She held positions in corporate and government, and left those worlds behind to pursue her dream of owning her own business.

Katt shares how she started out in the music business, learning as she went. She has some fantastic advice for any business person or entrepreneur, and lets us in on her 3 SECRETS TO SUCCESS!

Check out Katt’s SOCIAL MEDIA 101 page

Social media marketing can be a powerful tool to help any business grow their sales, increase brand exposure and build relationships with customers. What many businesses don’t realize is that just opening up a Facebook account and posting random links on your page once a week won’t help your business grow. Social media should be incorporated into your other marketing strategies, customer relations, PR and day-to-day operations. So to help you get started we’ve provided you with some helpful resources.

Stay tuned until the end of the podcast, and please subscribe on iTunes so you can get news of the latest episodes. Feel free to comment, contact me or FOLLOW ME and KATT on Facebook.

LISTEN HERE –– THANK YOU!

//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4766403/height/360/width/640/theme/legacy/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/no-cache/true/

Does Your Business Have a PULSE?

When visitors land on your website or Facebook page, would they get the sense that there is a living, breathing person running things? Is your website bland or lacking in personality? Would your potential customers connect with your blog and social media content?

Breathe LIFE back into your online presence…Perform CPR (Content  Powered Rejuvenation) and bring your social media back from the dead.

Welcoming Websites

Think about your website as your store or home . . .  you want people to feel welcome and spend time there . . .You want them to leave comments, ask questions, go on a bit of a journey, visit other areas of your store.

Take a critical look at your website and the content. IS it relevant? Does it provide solutions and answer questions your potential clients might have? If you don’t ADORE your own site and enjoy scrolling through it and rereading posts . . . then no one else will either!

Sociable Media

Do your posts reflect who you are, what your values are, and what you do? Is the content entertaining? You need to draw people in, attract followers and make people feel welcome and let them know you are there to solve problems for them and share your insights.

HOW do you do this? Yep, it’s a skill, but you can learn! I’m all about teaching and empowering others to do their own social media, but I do manage platforms and ghost write blogs for businesses if time is an issue.

FACT: Over 75% of people on the internet are using social media, and many turn to their favourite platforms to investigate a business. If they check out your website, is it doing a good job representing you and your products and services?

AND most importantly: Does your web presence answer the following questions RIGHT AWAY?

  • Are you OPEN? . . . Surprising how many businesses do NOT post their hours or have recent info to show they are active and still in business.
  • WHERE are you?…Are you brick and mortar, or online only?
  • WHY should I TRUST you? Are you coming off as amateur, or professional. BE the expert.
  • WHO are you? And WHO is talking about you?
  • WHAT services do you offer, and WHICH problems can you solve for me?

If you have any questions, post below or message me on FB.

Interested in a FREE 30 minute consultation? CONTACT ME.

Episode 3: Wendy McClelland, Marketing Maven & Life Coach!

wendy
Wendy McClelland, coach extraordinaire!

On Episode 3 of Pod Sisters, I interview Wendy McClelland. Wendy is a business coach, successful entrepreneur and author . . . she has a lot to teach us and I am so happy to be able to share her story with you.

Wendy has referred to herself as a lifelong entrepreneur… and continues to share her knowledge with generosity and grace. She is a pioneer and motivator for others in business and in life in general, and her story is one of courage, determination and creativity.

Wendy is a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and focuses on helping business owners achieve their goals. She had her own daily radio show in the mid 1990s and the first website that she developed was chosen by the New York Times as “one of the best biz sites on the net” – the same day they chose Microsoft!

61gu7dituslShe recently wrote her story in “27 Steps to Freedom: What learning to Walk Again Taught Me about Success in Business and Life” This inspirational memoir recounts her struggle to regain her strength and pursue her dreams after a devastating illness. Wendy has come through the difficulties in life with a warm smile, a spirit that never gives in, drawing on her inner energy to keep taking those steps — She is a business woman, author, visionary, friend, mom, daughter and sister…welcome, Wendy to Pod Sisters!

JOIN US!

Click to LISTEN

or PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on iTunes!

The Reclusive Solopreneur

Don’t treat yourself like a BOSS…treat yourself like a valued EMPLOYEE.

Let’s face it…most work-from-home solopreneurs slog away at a ridiculous pace, working god awful hours and forgetting to eat.

star-1139372__180
You are the Employee of the Month!

If you treat yourself like a star team member, you will not ignore your basic rights to breaks, a hot lunch once in a while and conversations with other human beings. You also need to schedule time to learn new things and grow your network, and focus on your business marketing.

PLUS you need to get out once in a while, otherwise your social skills will wither away and you will convince yourself that wearing the same pajamas and not showering for four days qualifies you as a “green” business.

Launching a Business

After completing my education in editing, and trying to start my own business, I found it very hard to get up the courage to seek out others with similar goals and interests. It took quite a while to gather a group of supportive associates to share the work with and celebrate the successes.

hand-427504__180
Meet new mentors!

I had to force myself to get out of the yoga pants and actually attend groups and meetings with other business owners and find events that were of benefit to me and my business. It takes time…no doubt about it. But you have to do it! There is no growth where there is no effort — I heard that somewhere, and it’s true.

Collaborating with Peers

Alphabetizing  business cards you received last year does NOT count as networking.

super-heroes-1419154__180
Just to see if you’re paying attention!

For home-based business owners, it can be difficult to actually leave the house. I get it! But it ALWAYS pays off. It is important to hunt down business meetup groups and like-minded individuals who can inspire you and lead to possible business collaborations.

Find classes and lectures about the things you are weak on: social media, marketing, blogging, public speaking, bookkeeping and organizing.

There is something for everyone out there.

Breaks and Lunches

Staring at the wall, contemplating what to make for dinner does NOT constitute a break; chowing down on the candy you hid from your kids is NOT a healthy lunch.

It’s important to remember to feed yourself healthy foods throughout the day. I’m sure you’re like me: when I am focused on work and in the zone, I tend to forget to eat and then snack on the quickest food I can find (which is usually cheese strings and chips).

Set a timer or alarm if necessary. Treat yourself to a trip to a deli or bakery once in a while. Take a break and grab a coffee with a friend or business associate. You would do this if you worked in an office, so you need to take the time for a time-out.

Get CONNECTED

smartphone-1445489_960_720Search Facebook and LinkedIn to find pages, groups and events with a similar business focus and introduce yourself and your company.

Check out these Ultimate Networking Apps 

Here are some links to help you GET OUT OF THE HOUSE:

And of course LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups are great ways to network online and connect with people in your area.  FB Live Video seminars contain valuable information and give you an opportunity to interact in real time (just follow your favourite peeps and be on alert for those streaming vids)…or contact me on FB or LinkedIn and we can count it as a business meeting!

SHARE your favourite groups, organizations or ways to connect!

Top Blogging Tips for Business

“If you have something to sell, you’d better have a story to tell.”

I have been so lucky . . . as I built my business I had a lot of support from family, friends and colleagues . . . most of them women like me who began a new entrepreneurial career after raising a family or working for someone else.

GET YOURSELF A MENTOR is my biggest tip, or commune with other “like” people and businesses to see what they are doing. Attending seminars and meetup groups are so helpful – and you can learn A TON about marketing.

The best tips come from these mentors who have already done it . . . and learned how to market their business from other successful entrepreneurs. One of the biggest marketing tools they use is A BLOG! (SCROLL DOWN FOR INTERVIEW!) Continue reading Top Blogging Tips for Business

Social Media Simplified

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I’m sure most of you feel the same. The online world can be intrusive, fear-inducing, anger-fueling, annoying and often tricks us with lies and exaggerations of the truth. But let’s face it, social media is a necessary tool and can be our greatest ally when we need to reach more than one person at a time. And the channels of social media can also funnel informative, inspiring, engaging, entertaining and educating material our way and help us create connections we would never have been able to make in the “real” world.

I do prefer real, human conversations to cold, static texts; and I would rather have a face-to-face meeting than play email tag or struggle through uncomfortable Skype conversations; but in this busy, hyper-connected world, we need to keep up with the times or throw in the towel and live a hermit life in a mountain cave.

It helps me to relate the online social world to the real world so I have a better understanding of what should be shared through each platform. And it helps to envision the people using each platform as a different audience so I can tailor what I have to say. I spend a lot of time helping other business people succeed on social media, and make connections that count – and I have to continually remind myself of “What” goals we need to accomplish, “How” best to accomplish those goals and “Where” the best place to accomplish them is. It helps me to picture each social media site in the following ways:

Your Website is your storefront and you want people to enter, browse, and stay a while. You attract people there by keeping content fresh with updated blogs and relevant articles and by directing people to your website through social media platforms – where your potential clients and collaborators gather. Provide info that people want to know about – helpful tips and secrets, newsletters, and calendars of events through easily navigable pages and posts.

LinkedIn is an extension of your website – your online resume and brag sheet. It is the boardroom, where you gather with your contemporaries and peers to share ideas, problem solve, meet with potential clients and build on your professional development.

LinkedIn is a tool where you can:

  • Seek out people you would like to work for, work with and mentor.
  • Find your future work and team build by joining groups, commenting and sharing with other LinkedIn members.
  • Offer and request recommendations.
  • Endorse peoples’ skills and thank those who do the same for you.

Like a resume, you are continually adding to it as your business and client list grows. There is a steadiness and a consistency to LinkedIn – it’s a “Club” mentality there and if you are in the club you have longevity and staying power.

Use the first person when filling in your profile, and make sure to fill in as many sections as possible – you never know what might “link” you to someone else.

You should share your advice, tips, blog posts and the same from contemporaries you admire and wish to collaborate with through the post feature so that others can share your posts on LinkedIn and other social sites.

Facebook is the water cooler you all gather around on your break to talk about what you did last night, which video you found interesting and the joke you overheard at the grocery store. Your personal Profile is where you can get a bit more personal, but if you have a business Page, you should be careful not to be too political, religious or opinionated—unless you are a politician, religious leader or looked to for your opinion, of course! It’s where you share your snippets of info, advice and words of inspiration in short, clear blurbs so people can get back to work. This is the place where people get to know the “face” of the business. Be true to who you are and what your business stands for. Tell your story in different ways.

The only way your posts have life after 15 minutes is to get people interacting on the posts. Ask for feedback or create posts that people will react to and want to share; and once someone Likes, Shares or Comments, the post is shown on more people’s timelines—and the more people who respond, the more people on their friend list will see it, and the Reach of the post grows exponentially. Careful content creation and regular topics like “Tuesday Tip” or “Throwback Thursday” works because people like to know what to expect of your Page and the quality and quantity of the info. If it changes suddenly or contains content that is overly “Sales-y”, people will UN-Like the page. Create Events and Tabs to link to newsletters, sales and coupons. Make your Facebook page somewhere people would want to spend their valuable time visiting.

Google + is a combo between LinkedIn and Facebook. Not as popular yet in some circles, but businesses are getting the hang of it and Google likes it when you are active there so it is important to have a presence on Google+. Posts should be a combo of Facebook and LinkedIn posts. Your space here is a representation of who you are and what your business is all about. Lots of sharing and “+”-ing or “Hi-fiving” going on here. Like Twitter you can put people into groups and follow them to see their posts in your feed. Great place to find advocates for your business.

Twitter contains your random thoughts, nuggets of wisdom and short info blasts. It’s as if your head were made of glass and the whole world has a front row seat to your shenanigans. It’s what is happening right now and the shelf life is mere minutes as the next thought whisks into view. If you have a lot going on, Twitter is the place for people to keep up with you.

Tweets do not live long as they disappear down the page on everyone’s feed as new tweets populate the space. Twitter is a crowded and noisy market and you have to repeat yourself often and be present to be heard and catch the important Tweets that whizz through the space. You need to shout over the other people BUT your info must be relevant and engaging and not just noise or you will be UNFOLLOWED and silenced. This is a good place to organize the businesses and people you follow into groups so you can target specific messages.

By creating my own imaginary world in the social spectrum I have been able to make some sense of it all and be clearer about the type of content I share on each platform. We all do what works best for us.

Experiment with each platform – you might be surprised. I had one client who was strictly on Facebook, and I kept hinting that Twitter might be better for her type of business, but she was wary of it and stayed away. Then one day she emailed me and told me she had given it a try and LOVED IT! She found it more convenient to tweet out what she was doing in between client sessions and send out relevant info as it popped into her head. Sitting down and writing blog posts and creating Facebook content intimidated and overwhelmed her, but she found Twitter was fun! And if something is FUN, it WORKS! So, my biggest recommendation for social media is HAVE FUN!

What is YOUR favourite social media platform, and WHY?

Work-at-Home Business Owners Need to Get Out Once in a While!

As a work-at-home freelance writer and editor, I find I forget to treat myself as an employee. I ignore my basic rights to a break, a hot lunch and conversations with other human beings. I neglect to schedule time to learn new things and grow my network, and I ignore my own company’s marketing.

I used to find it very hard to get up the courage to seek out others with similar goals and interests. It took quite a while to gather a group of supportive associates who I can share the work with and celebrate the successes. I had to force myself to get out of the yoga pants and actually attend groups and meetings with other business owners and find events that were of benefit to me and my business. It takes time…no doubt about it. But you have to do it. There is no growth where there is no effort — I heard that somewhere, and it has become my mantra.

Collaborating with Peers

Reorganizing a pile of stuffed animals can NOT be classed a business meeting; and alphabetizing the business cards you received last year does NOT count as networking.

For home-based businesses, it can be difficult to actually leave the house. I get it! I have to actually make a huge effort — but it ALWAYS pays off. It is important to hunt down business meetup groups and like-minded individuals who can inspire you and lead to possible business collaborations. Find classes and lectures about the things you are weak on: social media, marketing, blogging, public speaking, bookkeeping and organizing.

There is something for everyone out there.

Breaks and Lunches

Staring at the wall, contemplating what to make for dinner does NOT constitute a break; chowing down on the candy you hid from your kids is NOT a healthy lunch. It is important to remember to feed yourself healthy foods throughout the day. I’m sure you’re like me: when there is no one peeking at what I am eating, I tend to forget to eat and then snack on the quickest food I can find (which is usually cheese strings and chips). Treat yourself to a trip to a deli or bakery once in a while. Take a break and grab a coffee with a friend or business associate. You would do this if you worked in an office, so you need to take that time for a time-out.

Search Facebook and LinkedIn to find groups with similar business interests and promote your company.

Try this cool new business networking app: http://bit.ly/1rSdDNb

Here are some links to help you GET OUT OF THE HOUSE:

Share your favourite networking group and any advice you have for home-based businesses in the comments below…or contact me on FB or LinkedIn and we can count it as a business meeting!

http://on.fb.me/QG5EqM

Teach, Don’t Preach…and Tell, Don’t Sell

Gone are the days when a man with a wagging finger and slicked back hair reaches out from the TV screen to admonish you for not purchasing Sudsy to clean your undies. Or an aproned woman tells us we should buy something because “That’s what Mama always used.”

Gone are the lines at customer complaint departments and unanswered emails about the lack of service or problem with a product. Gone are the curtains that corporations can hide behind.

“Hello, WORLD,” should be every company’s attitude about social media — utilize creative campaigns, give instant feedback, share successes and failures, and offer giveaways and contests. Social media can help businesses reach out, teach and tell in a fun and exciting way like never before. As a storyteller myself, I am drawn to a company who entertains, teaches me something of value, and shares their company story with openness and confidence.

People want to know why they should buy a product, or be taught how they should do something, and marketing is responding by treating the audience as invested individuals rather than a pack of sheep. Businesses should want invested followers who care about what they represent, instead of customers who open their wallets.

If my eyes tear up at a commercial, or I feel the need to “spread the word” after reading an ad, I know the marketing team has done their job. By making me care, they have drawn me in. The catch is, the product or service better be good, because the trend in storytelling can go both ways. But if someone complains on Facebook or lashes out on Twitter, it is just an opportunity to add another chapter to your story. You should welcome the chance to learn more about your customers, and improve your product or service. Customer satisfaction is now about inviting the world in and allowing them to feel they are one of your partners — in fact, your most valuable business partner.

Creating a product or service and ads to sell aren’t enough. Remember!

  • Make sure your product and service are the best they can be.
  • Invite the world in and share your business story.
  • Share the experiences of your customers and clients.
  • Use social media to improve your business by asking for input.
  • Don’t be afraid to share the ups and downs of business.
  • Mistakes are human, and businesses can learn from them.
  • Resolve issues immediately and share results, be transparent.
  • When customer experience is improved, we all gain.

I, for one, am glad there is more accountability and openness in the world. Consumers want to be educated and informed, not preached at and sold to. Empowering and educating the client makes their choice easier — they will stick with the company who cares and shares.

I invite comments and feedback. I am open to criticism or debate. I welcome compliments and observations…’cause I love to learn!

Have you had a customer experience that supports Teaching vs. Preaching or Telling vs. Selling? Do you have a sales story to share?

It’s ON, Baby! Blog Blitz Challenge!

Blogging Blitz

I attended social media seminars, watched tutorials on how to build websites (gave up on that torture for a while), perused posts of popular bloggers, and studied how to market myself (I am, after all, trying to sell a book and garner more writing/editing/social media clients). I have come to the conclusion that it is time to stop procrastinating with questions about how to blog and build a support system, and learn by doing. So, at the suggestion of many other bloggers, I set myself a challenge. But that wasn’t good enough for me. I also had to drag my sister into it as well. Misery loves company, and so do social experiments. Helen is also a work-from-home entrepreneur who finds little time for self-promotion and sharing stories and information on her website. The answer – bully her into it!

We challenged each other to a blog blitz for the month of July. You may join us if you wish! Here are the criteria:

  1. Starting July 1st (Canada Day) post 100-500 words about Canada Day. It can be a past memory, a funny story, or tips on how to BBQ the perfect wiener. Include picture and share on your social media channels.
  2. Note your followers and visits per day, and watch through the month. Notice when they peak and which posts are working best for you.
  3. Every other day in July, post 100-500 words on any subject you wish. You can share personal stories, but alternate with helpful tips about your specific business or hobby. Don’t forget to share on your social media!
  4. Directly after you publish each post, visit 2-5 other websites that relate to you or your business and comment, like, or share one of their posts. If they have a “Follow Me” button, make sure to click it if you find their content interesting or relevant.
  5. Make sure you respond to all comments and emails from followers. If someone liked your post, or followed you, make sure to visit their blog or website.
  6. Include invitations on each post. “Comment below”, “Share a link”, “Ask me a question”.
  7. If a reader does ask a question, try and answer question through another post.
  8. Use catchy titles. Some examples:
    • I was a Stripper Mom (Post was about me accidentally exposing myself after breastfeeding)
    • Before You Publish, Edit That Shit! (People get edgy when you swear at them, and might click just so they can reciprocate in kind)
    • Why I Don’t Worry About the End of the World (Fake Post – STOP clicking it! – but who wouldn’t want to know what you have to say?– Hey, I may have to actually do a post about this now!)
    • What Type of Omelette Are You? ( Helen and I spoke at length about how popular those info-gathering, time-swallowing, soul-sucking posts are, so why not jump on the bandwagon of insanity? Ooooh, another great post title!)

This posting challenge should only take an hour a day, and once you are more practiced, should take less time. This challenge is not about breaking your spirit and filling you with self-doubt and denial, causing you to collapse in a puddle of tears (but if this does happen, please post pics); it is about empowering each other to celebrate accomplishments and learn from mistakes.

If you are techy at all, try and make a short video or podcast, adding it to Youtube and sharing it on social media. If you share a video/audio post, BONUS POINTS to you! That means you can skip a post day and wallow in your brilliant success.

Please share your stories, advice, successes and failures (Helen and I love a good laugh, and it would sooo boost our self-esteem). And please visit Helen’s site too and see what she’s got going on: www.armyofevilrobots.com 

Now, do YOU accept this challenge?