New Thoughts

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Some of the tasks of the week;

  • hair
  • headshots
  • brainstorming
  • goal setting

These all amount to putting attention and priority on Me.  More accurately, these are just some of the steps to help me become more successful and professional in my field. There are plenty more to go, and many of them should be regular occurrences, but constantly moving forward is key in the fast-paced world of social media and good for anyone with an online presence.

Having my hair done not only makes me feel better personally, but it also makes me look more put-together and professional. A win-win all around. I get to visit with my therapist stylist, plus know that I am more presentable when interacting with others. Just because you work online versus in person with others, doesn’t mean you should let go of your appearance!

Taking the step of getting headshots done is an investment. Professional photos let people know I take myself seriously and they should too. It costs money, but creates an  image that lets people know I’m worth it.

Brainstorming should happen regularly. It helps to gather ideas for posts, for new directions with marketing strategies, and for goal setting. Today’s brainstorming session involved identifying terms related social media. Don’t be surprised if you see some definitions popping up on the blog in the near future!

Goal setting isn’t always my strong suit, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a part of business. I might be able to get by in life by the seat of my pants, but that doesn’t necessarily move my business forward. Getting headshots done in 2018 was one goal that I can almost cross off my list. Yeah, me! Figuring out new ways to increase my business and income is another thing I need to focus on and implement. Writing these ideas down is key to making them happen.

I suspect I need to do a little more brainstorming, but I also need to take some concrete steps to move me forward. I think it’s fair to say that you’ll see more writing about these thoughts in the future, as I figure them out here and in real-time.

If you need help brainstorming, throw me a prompt! Maybe we can figure out freelancing together.

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Strike a Pose

In order to stay current, we need to adapt and change. In order to appear professional, we need to put our best face forward to those in our market. Those we work with and those whom we hope to attract. And in order for me to do that, I need to bite the bullet and make some changes around here. It’s time to work on me.

My mother always said you never get a second chance to make a first impression. If people only spend 15 seconds on a blog, you have to make that first impression count!

No more hiding behind the viewfinder and spellchecker. I have been tweaking the wording on my various online presences, but there’s more to me than just words. As much as I have always preferred to be in the shadows, that doesn’t sell copy. I am a writer. I have been making a living at Freelance Writing for approximately eight years. It’s time to own that a little more. It is time to invest in myself.

It’s time for headshots!

Do you have professional headshots? What tips do you adhere to, to portray yourself as a professional?

Content Curation

Content Curation

It is a term I throw around easily, but I suspect not everyone know what it means. In fact, I know that is the case. Marketers worth their salt should, but people unfamiliar with social media and/or social media curation probably think I’m speaking a different language.

Curation: the selection of something such as documents, music, or internet content to be included as part of a list or collection or on a website

*This definition from the Cambridge Dictionary is the most useful for my purposes.

Indeed.

Likewise, here is a definition of content, also from the Cambridge Dictionary;

Content: the ideas that are contained in a piece of writing, a speech, or a film

So when you put the two together, you have material that is shared in a location, like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, that follows along a certain theme.

For example, in the case of my tree services client, we share stories related to trees, tree services, and nature, often within Canada, Ontario, or more specifically, London, Ontario, where they are located. The content can be unique—i.e. a picture of the crew active during the day; or related to the industry—a news article about an arborist injured in the line of work; or informative about a service—a blog post on why you should plant trees. Your content should relate back to your company, field, the company’s interests (if there is a specific charity or cause the company supports), and location in which the company operates (ie. base of operations or focus location of sales).

Of course, this is really the tip of the iceberg, if you will. When thinking about what to post, you need to keep in mind current events (ie. birthdays, anniversaries, newsworthy events in your community), your followers interests (do they prefer humour, serious informative articles, or maybe pictures), other popular content (can you comment on other current affairs, jump into trending #hashtags, or create a viral meme to skyrocket your reach). Don’t forget the push of video, live video, contests, and boosted posts.

But I think I am getting away from myself now. Best to think about who your audience is and what message you want to put forth. Note what your followers respond to and give them more of the same. Be consistent, real, and helpful. And I cannot reiterate enough, when it comes to content Quality will always reign over quantity any day.

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The Quality of your content will attract visitors when it comes to Content Curation

What’s Your Story?

Since Facebook is making changes, perhaps I should too. Today’s task (while dodging between phone calls, volunteer queries, and scheduling appointments) was to brush up on client stories.

Have you seen the “Our Story” tab on the right hand side of your Facebook page? Did you know you can add in a personalized picture? The story that Facebook preloads is from your long description, but you are fully capable of editing, deleting, or adding whatever you want. In fact, they call it “Our Story”, but you can change the title of the section to suit your fancy as well. The point is to be creative and draw people’s attention to it, then share a little more about your business/page.

So what is your story? Is it compelling enough to draw in followers? Let’s hope so. Good luck in constructing your image! How’s mine doing so far?

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I’m a Freelance Writer with a love of trees, nature, and tinkering with the social media strategies of my clients

 

 

 

Battle Facebook Changes: Create a Face!

My recent post about the changes coming to Facebook was quite popular. I suppose not surprising, as it affects potentially billions of people. And for anyone trying to utilize that vast network for business purposes, if those changes affect your bottom line, you SHOULD take notice. Why spend money on a social media budget, if your return on investment (ROI) doesn’t merit the time or money put in?

So does that mean that people should give up on business pages on Facebook? I don’t think so. Yes, people like to interact with their friends and family on Facebook, but they also choose whether they want to follow a page or not. In choosing to like or follow a page, they have shown some kind of interest in it. The key for you as an admin on that page, is to make sure that interest remains. People click on links. They share memes and videos that make them laugh. Thoughtful pieces often elicit comments. The trick now is for you as an admin to work harder to tap into that.

I’m not saying it will be easy, but Facebook has made changes before. There have been cries that organic reach would die. And that just didn’t come to pass. Some pages might have taken a hit, but I suspect they were pages that didn’t put a real effort into their social media marketing strategies. Pages that didn’t understand Facebook’s algorithms and ever-changing rules of engagement. I have had conversations along these lines and watched people’s eyes glaze over when I talk about it. They don’t get it and honestly, don’t care to. Hence why I get hired to help people with their marketing strategies.

It isn’t all that complicated though. You have to understand the nature of people. People want to be entertained. They want content to shock, interest, or educate them. They want to see pictures of people they know, doing things that are funny, awe-inspiring, or that add depth to their understanding of who they are and what they do. Easy to read explanations help those images along. More often than not, the general public isn’t tied up in official lingo or the lexicon of an industry—they want words in layman’s terms that they can grasp simply and easily.

So what should you do? Take a picture of what you are doing. Share a story about an incident that happened that day or that week. Maybe it snowed, or you received an award, or someone put decaf in the coffee machine and people went berserk. It doesn’t really matter, but it makes you more relatable. Add that personal edge to your company, so people care about the people behind the image, versus a staid business page.

As for timing, let your budget dictate that to a point, but aim to have fresh content weekly. Some big pages post several times a day, but for smaller companies, that may not be practical or possible. Once a day is good, but several times a week is a minimum in my opinion. Any less than that and Facebook won’t show your posts to people due to a lack of engagement. Posting once a month might as well make you invisible and might even do more harm than good, as people will think your company has gone under.

If it seems overwhelming, it doesn’t hurt to bring someone on board to help with your content curation. The trick is to have that person understand what message you want to share and what face you want to put on your image. Also, you need to keep them in the loop about important events that happen for your company, and maybe shoot them images of employees at work every once in a while. Plus, encourage all members of your company to share those posts on their own personal Facebook pages, to get your presence out further. It helps!

Good luck with maneuvering Facebook’s newest changes. If all else fails, try boosting a post here and there to see if that helps with your organic reach too. And let me know what works and what doesn’t work for you. See you on the net!

I wade my way through Facebook marketing myself. Come join me there!