Crazy title for a blog, isn’t it? Picture a funnel. Now think of a cake. What ingredients go into that funnel to produce the cake? Flour, milk, sugar, butter, spices. Mix them up and pour them into a baking pan, cook for an hour and you have the end result – a cake.
Now, think of your website presence. How do people get to your website? From your Facebook business page posts, from your LinkedIn profile, from your Tweets or just by looking at your Twitter profile, from your Pinterest account (backlinks, of course behind every picture). And probably many other ways – You Tube, Google +. My point is, everything you do on social media should eventually lead people back to your website where all the important information resides.
Think funnel. Think posts, Tweets, links, videos. Think website.
Undoubtedly, your website is the bottom of the funnel; the sweet spot where you want your customers and potential clients to land. How much control do you have over your website? Does it totally reflect you, your message and your brand?
I raise these questions because many entrepreneurs and small business owners do not realize that being empowered to create your own website content by following a simple formula of the five D’s may be the perfect solution for you if you feel a web designer has not totally captured the image you want to portray online.
Enter Marisa Goudy, co-founder of the Online Empowerment Formula, and my guest this past week on The Social Networking NewsHour. Her belief is that by discovering, describing, delivering, designing and developing your content, your website will resonate so much more clearly with your target audience because you have control from start to finish. In fact, you actually build your own website under her tutelage and probably find out more about who you are professionally than you ever knew before. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?
This holistic approach to web development makes sense. Just like writing a blog or delivering a live presentation or writing a Power Point, you have to think hard about your purpose, your strategy, the skills you need and what resources you are going to use. Why should your website be any different. In this day and age of do-it-yourself projects, many small business owners are turning to WordPress formats where you pay for the hosting only and learn how to do the rest.
You do not need to be technologically gifted to pull this off. Website creation no longer requires advanced programming skills. It’s not as scary as you think. It’s empowering to have your site, the bottom of your funnel, be reflective of you.
Would you ever consider an approach such as the Online Empowerment Formula to take control of your website? Do you have a web designer that reacts to your needs immediately? Share your experiences!
Laurie Hurley is a social media consultant, mentor, and hostess of The Social Networking NewsHour. Her philosophy about social media marketing is to empower her clients to be authentic online. To listen to this past week’s show, just click here for the instant download.
27 Jan 2013
One of the advantages of hosting my weekly internet radio show is having guest experts on who share their knowledge and experience. This past week, my guest was Aaron Boerger, CEO of Defined Ventures, Inc. Aaron is an organizational specialist who helps others streamline their technology to stay productive.
Being a self-professed non-geek, I was especially interested in what Aaron had to say because many of the procedures and systems that come easily to others are very difficult for me. I just can’t wrap my brain around some of the steps one needs to take to have everything synched and operating like clockwork between my iPhone, iPad and Mac.
More importantly, about two months ago, my email box was a mess. Hundreds of messages – all read – but not categorized, deleted or filed properly. Taking an hour to set up my email to attain “Inbox Zero” with Aaron’s help, was the best thing I did for myself and my business in the last quarter of 2012.
It’s easy to let things slip, even when one has the best intentions. Sometimes life just gets in the way or we become so busy we forget to attend to the small details that can save us an inordinate amount of time.
Here are the highlights of my interview with Aaron.
1) Keep your apps to a minimum otherwise they are distracting and cause a decrease in productivity.
2) Implement Inbox Zero. That doesn’t mean every message is read and deleted, it means you have a system that prioritizes each email by category – i.e. do now, do later, waiting for a response, etc.
3) Utilize a password manager so you not only have easy access to your passwords, but you have a secure place in which to store them.
4) Consider using a digital filing cabinet to keep your to-do lists, notes to yourself and other written or video content in one place.
5) Read a great article or blog and want to save it to read at your leisure? Try an app like Get Pocket to organize them in a virtual file that you can access at a click of your mouse.
Trying to manage your social media marketing and content can be overwhelming. It is imperative to have some kind of organization for all the data that comes your way. Taking the time to implement a solid system for yourself that you will utilize and maintain is paramount to saving precious time during your work week to focus on your business.
If you would like to have a heads-up on who will be on the show every week, leave your email address here on my show page. I’ll send you a brief notice every Tuesday.
What systems do you use that help you to stay organized? Please share them!
Laurie Hurley is a social media consultant, mentor, speaker and hostess of The Social Networking NewsHour. You can hear her show live on Toginet radio every Wednesday at 2pm PST or download the podcasts!
13 Jan 2013
Google + and I are finally going steady. Yes, we flirted for over a year, totally broke up once or twice and went through a phase not even speaking to each other. It got so bad that I even bad-mouthed Google + publicly. Then, one day about three weeks ago, all of that changed.
I’m not sure what it was. Hard for me to put my finger on, actually. I had been very happy with Facebook and the amount of engagement and activity in that relationship. I even spent some money and invested in a Facebook ad which brought me over 300 new targeted followers for a mere $36.00. The relationship was good, but growing stale. I was getting bored with the same old stuff. Ads running down the right-hand side of my page, lots of “likes” but no direct answers to some of my questions. Facebook was showing me its aloof side.
Meanwhile, a Google + community popped into my email. Sure, trying to lure me in with the work “community.” I fell for it. I joined the community and discovered people actually were leaving comments, not just “plus 1′ing each other.” I became intrigued.
I felt daring and strong and confident. So, I created my own Google + community to see if I should think about getting back together with G+. Lo and behold, my community is growing. People are joining and actually participating. To make it even more fun, I came up with Wisdom Wednesdays where the members can share a hot tip and Theatre Thursdays, where we all share our videos – business, no sales – and comment on at least two of them.
Our courtship is going well. Rumor has it Facebook is rolling out some other big changes this week. Since I am addicted to Facebook, I will hang in there with them, but I am cheating on the side. And it feels good. More fulfilling. Not to mention the traffic on my website has increased by more than 44% over the last twenty-one days, according to my Google analytics.
Are you and Google + tight? Or, do you have a love/hate relationship like I did? Please share.
Laurie Hurley is a social media consultant and has an active membership group, teaching basic social media to entrepreneurs. Laurie is also the hostess of The Social Networking NewsHour, which airs every Wednesday at 2pm on the Woo Hoo Radio Network.
06 Jan 2013
I debated for weeks about whether to invite three of my Social Networking Made Simple members on my radio show last Wednesday. Because I subscribe to the 80/20 or 90/10 rule on social media. Eighty or ninety percent of the time I should be giving great tips, tricks, techniques and content to my audience and the remaining time can be spent promoting an offer, a class, teleseries, webinar, and just plain tooting my own horn.
If you follow me on Twitter or my Facebook pages or even Pinterest, you will quickly discover that I rarely self-promote. Sure, I share lots of information, give great advice and freely share my knowledge about all things social media, but it is rare that I come right out and say, “I am really good at what I do, so buy from me.”
Truth is too many people do that, or, they inundate you with emails, squeeze pages, a new class or whatever they happen to be promoting. I hate that kind of approach. To me it seems sleazy, pushy, invasive. If enough people get to know me, either in person, or online, they will naturally gravitate to me, right? WRONG!
Late last year, my business coach and I sat down and mapped out my marketing strategies for my newly created membership group which included using my radio show, The Social Networking NewsHour to invite three members on- air live to share their experiences learning from me. I squirmed in my chair and felt uncomfortable devoting an entire hour to hearing people sing my praises. My coach said it was nothing more than a testimonial from three happy members. I mulled it over and decided to do it.
The podcast is here, you can listen for yourself to what they said. After the show was done and I begin tweeting about it and sharing the link, I realized it was not a bad thing to do. Maybe I’ll do this once a quarter. I listened to the show and was happy I did it.
How do you self-promote? Are you uncomfortable, or is it a natural thing for you to do on a regular basis? What social media venues do you use for promoting your services? Please share!
Social media gurus and coaches are a dime a dozen these days. From top household names like Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy (yeah go ahead and sign up for their free newsletter) to lesser know people like – well – me. My name is not on the tip of everyone’s tongue when social media is mentioned, except for my tight circle of friends and clients. I am building my legacy slowly and with a well thought out business plan that has changed several times in the past nine months. The highlight was my debut as host of my own radio show, The Social Networking NewsHour in June. It is gratifying to see the hundreds of people downloading my podcasts. I guess I am getting more popular by the week.
That being said, sure, I subscribe to many of my competitors’ blogs and ezines, not to replicate what they are doing, but to keep informed of social media trends and, I admit, to compare pricing and offers. There are several people I admire and am jealous of, to an extent. They regularly brag of a seven-figure income and packed webinars and seminars with hundreds of people in attendance. Of course I wonder how they do it, but then I stop and remember, my company is only nine months young.
There is a definite keeping-up-with-the-Joneses pressure in this industry. The key is to remain true to myself. To do what feels right and comfortable. Just because one “expert” prices a product at $1,000, doesn’t mean I have to follow suit. When another coach gives away a 30-minute free consultation and I believe forty-five minutes or an hour is better suited to my style, then I do it.
Raising prices comes with building credibility and proving I’m worth every penny. Do to that, I focus on building a pipeline and a following that will willingly write or record a nice, heartfelt testimonial. Under promising and over delivering.
The concept of quantity comes into play. Would you rather have many, many clients paying a lower price or just a handful paying top dollar? That was my thought as I prepare to launch my Social Networking Made Easy Membership. Expose many people, at an affordable price to my style and content and develop more advanced and specialized programs from there. It works for me.
How about you? What is your strategy for building your empire, especially if you are a coach or mentor in your field of expertise? Please share.
01 Jul 2012
This past Wednesday was my second show on The Woo-Hoo radio network. I was prepared, my guest was ready and I felt confident. My show airs at 2:00 p.m. PST, so I was out most of the morning doing errands.
I returned home at 1:00 only to discover we had no power. One hour until showtime and no phone or computer. I didn’t want to trust the back up battery on my Mac and my iPhone’s battery was low. Panic set in.
I drove over to my friend’s house, hoping she would be home, but no luck. So, I took off for the public library and prayed they had an empty meeting room I could use. Sure enough, they obliged me. So, I settled into the un air-conditioned room, with no furniture and plopped myself on the floor.
My show went off without a hitch. However, midway into the hour show, a mouse decided to stroll across the floor. Now, I was on live radio and I am terrified of mice for some unknown reason. I stood up but had nowhere to go. My phone and computer in hand, I skirted around the room, truly believing this tiny mouse was going to harm me.
I couldn’t scream on live radio and had to keep my cool, which I somehow managed to do. It was bad enough I had already lost about three pounds of sweat from being in a hot closed up room. The kids pounding on the window the entire time did not distract me; even the large dog trying to break through the door didn’t shake my confidence. It’s embarrassing that a small mouse could cause so much havoc for me. Why is that?
The show proceeded. I didn’t let on that a mouse was terrorizing me. I made it to the end despite the fact that the mouse and I had a staring contest for the last thirty minutes of the show.
I guess if I can make it through a live radio show with a mouse stalking me, I can make it through just about anything. Have you ever been in a ridiculous situation such as this where you had to maintain a sense of calm even though you felt like losing it?
Laurie Hurley is The Social Networking Navigator and helps small businesses and entrepreneurs overcome their overwhelm on social media. Laurie hosts The Social Networking NewsHour on The Woo-Hoo radio network every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. PST.
19 Jun 2012
I am very excited to be the very first internet radio show to debut on the Woo-Hoo Radio Network, a division of Toginet radio. My guests will be varied and engaging, talking about all things social media. Join me every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. PST!
Want to be a guest? Are you involved with Socia Media or have a Social Media success story you would like to share? Get in touch with me at Laurie@TheSocialNetworkingNavigator.
Laurie Hurley is a social media mentor, coach, consultant and speaker. Her passion is making social media easy and helping you to overcome your overwhelm online. Check out her site at The Social Networking Navigator.com
11 Jun 2012
Well, I did it. I have read so many books and attended so many seminars about how spending money to make money is necessary. I can’t say I always subscribed to that notion. Because, after all, once you plop down a bunch of money to ignite your business goals and dreams, you have to work for it – the magic does not happen overnight.
So, about two weeks ago I spent more money than I ever have on one thing – the future of my business. I will not see the returns for months, or maybe I will get lucky and see the results of my hard work sooner. But, I know this for sure, after I thought about it – if I didn’t take this chance, I would never know if something I always wanted to do and be would come to fruition. So, I wrote a check, closed my eyes, mailed it and forged ahead.
As a social media consultant and mentor, one of my favorite things to do is speak at conferences, seminars, networking groups – anywhere that my target market hangs out. Small business owners and entrepreneurs who are overwhelmed with all that social media has to offer. Because it is confusing. But that is a topic for another blog. My newest venture started about six weeks ago when I launched a radio show on Blog Talk Radio. I discovered it was a blast having on-air conversations with other professionals.
Most recently, I was offered an opportunity to be part of a new network under the umbrella of Toginet radio. Yes, there is an upfront investment. I weighed the pros and cons and decided this would be a great platform for me to share my philosophy and expertise about all things social media and social networking. I took the plunge and my new show debuts on June 20.
I already have six weeks of guests signed up and a whole list of more to contact. Internet radio is a way to reach literally thousands of people, especially since all broadcasts are uploaded to iTunes thirty-five minutes after the broadcast is complete. A whole new adventure for me and the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals and folks who may be in need of my services.
So, that is my leap of faith – faith in a reputable company to broadcast my message and faith in myself to be successful.
What leaps of faith have you taken in the past year? Did they pay off for you and your business? Share your story! You may end up as a guest on my show!
Laurie Hurley is The Social Networking Navigator and resides in Newbury Park, CA. Besides launching The Social Networking NewsHour on June 20, Laurie will be conducting her 5 week teleseries, Blogging, Branding, and Business on July 12.