FAV 5 Recommended Reading For Smart Entrepreneurs (December 6, 2016)

Hello Entrepreneurs,

Welcome to our FAV 5… recommended reading/watching to help you obliterate your business goals!

Why Great Leaders Are Devoted Readers [VIDEO]
Robin Sharma

The best way to stand for something
Seth Godin

3 Power Plays Manipulative People Use Against You [VIDEO]
Dr. Isaiah Hankel

4 ways to build a human company in the age of machines
Tim Leberecht – TED

The Only Three Networking Emails You Need To Learn How To Write
Sara McCord – Fast Company

Be amazing!

Nishi

Get my free ebook, “How to Blog Like an Entrepreneur” now – CLICK HERE!

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Posted in Blog, entrepreneur, Favorite Five, Videos, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Social Media Red Flags for Entrepreneurs to Avoid

Social Media Marketing Red Flags For EntrepreneursAs an entrepreneur, you know the difference between working ON your business, as opposed to working IN your business.

Well, the same approach applies when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.

Sometimes, as business owners, we lose sight of the big picture when it comes to social media.

It’s easy to get caught up with the daily grind of creating content, scheduling posts, and maintaining multiple social media platforms.

It’s hard to stop what you’re doing and take the time to take a step back and audit what you’re doing.

It’s much easier to keep going full steam ahead, and hope that something sticks.

But this is a big mistake.

This blind approach leads to busyness, not business.

Once in a while, you need to take a cold hard look at everything you are doing on social media that pertains to your business and identify any red flags that indicate that your social media marketing strategy is falling short.

(By the way, if you don’t have a social media strategy, that’s a giant red flag right there.)

Social media red flags might go un-noticed at first, because they might not do any specific harm (for now), but they don’t do you or your business any good either.

More importantly, these red flags – if left ignored – will cost you time and resources down the road.

Entrepreneurs don’t have time and resources to waste. Analyze your social media marketing strategy today and look out for these major red flags…

Red Flag #1: Your social media marketing strategy lacks a call-to-action (CTA)

A call-to-action (or CTA) is the part of your social media content where you ask your audience to do something for you.

For instance, examples of solid calls-to-action could include:

  • Download my ebook
  • Subscribe to my YouTube channel
  • Follow me on Instagram
  • Leave me a comment or ask me a question
  • Buy my program

Typically, the CTA comes after you’ve offered something of value first. In other words, you’ve created some content that has educated, entertained, or enlightened someone, and now you can ask them to reciprocate.

Seems pretty obvious, right?

Right!

In fact it’s so obvious, we often make the mistake of assuming that we don’t need to spell it out for the audience.

This is a huge mistake.

Never assume that someone is going to follow you on Facebook just because they liked something you posted. You need to ASK THEM to follow you on Facebook.

People are not mind-readers. They are not dwelling on Facebook (or LinkedIn, or Instagram, or YouTube, or whatever) waiting to see what you come up with next. Rather, they are cruising by and if you’re worth their while, they’ll briefly stop to check you out and then… they’re gone again.

Gone forever.

BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T ASK.

Not asking is a horrible mistake to make on social media. It’s a wasted opportunity. If you look through your posts and you rarely see a blindingly clear CTA… huge red flag.

Furthermore, asking for too many things is also horrible.

“Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and while you’re at it, subscribe to my email list and see you at my speaking event next month, 50% off if you buy a ticket now on EventBrite! OMG contest opening soon!”

Yikes – please don’t do this.

When you ask for too many things, you get nothing. It dilutes your impact. Focus your efforts on one big goal at a time, such as growing your email list, and focus your CTAs like laser beams to get those email addresses.

One last thing about creating a CTA – you need to make it overwhelmingly easy for the audience to act on it.

Don’t ask them to type out a lengthy and complicated URL (they won’t do it) – instead, provide them with a clickable link. Don’t make them fill out a long and complicated form, it should be more like “Click, click, here’s your ebook.” Don’t make them go through several, arduous steps, make your CTA easy to understand and easy to follow.

Red Flag #2: Your strategy lacks autonomy from a specific social media platform

This might sound counter-intuitive, but the social media marketing strategy you use to promote your business should not rely too heavily on one single social media platform.

You might think, for instance, that you have an incredible Facebook presence, with great return on investment, and so you decide to focus all your efforts on getting more followers, comments, likes, and shares on Facebook. At first glance, this is a great idea. But it’s actually a red flag for potential disaster.

What if your audience leaves Facebook for another platform for reasons that are out of your control? What if Facebook introduces a new algorithm that makes it more difficult for your company to maintain its stronghold on Facebook?

Platforms become un-cool just as suddenly as they catch on. There is no use trying to change or complain about this. This is in fact just the nature of the beast. All you can do is accept and adapt.

A guaranteed way to make sure you stay ahead of changing trends is getting your followers to subscribe to an email list.

You will always have control over your list, and it will always work for you, no matter what happens out there.

Red Flag #3: Your social media presence lacks consistency

There are three types of consistency when it comes to social media marketing.

First, your business needs to be consistently present. You need to post often, and on a regular basis. Your publishing schedule needs to become predictable, so that your audience learns to rely on you and trust you for content on a regular basis.

Second, you need to be consistently great. You need to offer high quality content all the time. You must offer real value that educates, entertains, and/or inspires your audience. You can’t just sell your product or service, you need to bring consistent value that improves the lives of your audience.

And third, your messaging needs to consistently appeal to your target audience. Resist the urge to be all things to all people because that is the hallmark of bad branding.

Instead, you need to reach out to a specific niche and stand your ground.

In other words, you can’t expect to be the “go-to” company for anything unless you consistently put out consistently great content, consistently targeted for a niche audience.

Get my free ebook, “How to Blog Like an Entrepreneur” now – CLICK HERE!

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FAV 5 Recommended Reading For Smart Entrepreneurs (November 22, 2016)

Hello Entrepreneurs,

Welcome to our FAV 5… recommended reading/watching to help you obliterate your business goals!

Inbound 2016 Gary Vaynerchuk Keynote | Boston 2016 [FULL VIDEO]
Gary Vaynerchuk

Batteries Not Included
Seth Godin

How To Be A Master Storyteller [VIDEO]
Dr. Isaiah Hankel

5 Step Framework For Teaching Content
Stu McLaren – from Female Entrepreneur Association

Four Times When Aiming for Good Enough is a Great Productivity Strategy
Kat Boogaard – Fast Company

Be amazing!

Nishi

Get my free ebook, “How to Blog Like an Entrepreneur” now – CLICK HERE!

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Posted in Favorite Five | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why Every Entrepreneur Should Publish An eBook

Every entrepreneur should consider publishing an eBook.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m a business owner, not an author.

You may or may not have ever considered being an author, but the truth is, as a business owner, you likely have a ton of knowledge that is worth sharing with others.

What’s more important, is that this knowledge, packaged in the form of an ebook, can help you help others AND grow your business.

When my free ebook, “How to Blog Like an Entrepreneur” was first unleashed, I fully expected it would help me grow my business, but I was surprised at how quickly it got me noticed and how much it raised my profile. Now I wish I had published it sooner.

Here are several reasons why you and every entrepreneur should consider publishing an ebook…

Being an author is cool

Admit it, you want to be cool. And publishing an ebook has a coolness factor to it.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m already cool.

Well, publishing an ebook can actually make you more cool.

Even if you’re self-published.

Even if you’re giving it away for free.

Even though if it’s a digital ebook and not one that is available in actual hardcopy.

Put it this way, how many people do you know have written any kind of book?

When you casually mention at business and social gatherings that you have an ebook out, people’s eyebrows do that thing they do when they’re impressed. Even when they don’t know what the book’s about yet. It doesn’t matter. You’ve suddenly become interesting.

Having an ebook in your arsenal gives you instant credibility. It shows that you have the intelligence, discipline, and drive to make an ambitious project like an ebook a reality.

Being a published ebook author makes you stand out in a good way, and that is the first step to business success.

It’s good to give value

When you tell someone they can have your ebook as a free gift and it will help them with a problem they’re having, they’re going to be impressed AND grateful.

You’ve just done a nice thing for someone, by helping them.

Being helpful – and more importantly, being helpful FIRST – is a step in the right direction towards forming and nurturing a good business relationship.

Being helpful and offering something of value (that you created, no less) will help you build up your business network when you’re trying to promote your business in a meaningful way.

Brand yourself as an expert

 Your brand is your reputation.

You may have an excellent product or service to offer your potential clients, but unless they see you in a favorable light, they will hesitate to buy from you.

Publishing an ebook will help brand you as an expert in your industry.

Write your ebook with the intention to help a specific niche audience. Don’t try to sell anything right off the bat, just try to solve their problem or teach them something.

Prove to them that you are someone who understands their struggles and wants to help them. Prove to them that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy, and that they can turn to you when they need expert advice.

Use your ebook to raise your profile, establish your brand, and subsequently grow your client base based on mutual trust, empathy, and respect.

Easy to produce and promote

While it doesn’t need to be elaborate, your ebook needs to look like it’s the work of a professional. Just like with any other marketing material, it is a direct reflection of you and your brand.

And yes, in this case, looks do matter.

That said, an ebook doesn’t need to be more complicated than a nicely designed PDF file. If you’re not terrible at graphic design, you might even be able to design it yourself. Otherwise, you can always hire someone to do it for you.

You can easily make your ebook available for download from your website or blog, and then use social media to promote it – maybe purchase a few ads if you are so inclined.

An ebook can be produced and promoted for little to no financial investment, so it can be a very cost-effective way to raise brand awareness and grow your business.

Possible Passive income

Most entrepreneurs will gladly give their ebooks away for free, or more specifically, in exchange for an email address belonging to someone who could potentially turn into a client.

You could also charge a fee for your ebook, and generate some passive income.

Most non-fiction ebooks written by unknown authors on Amazon are priced at around 99 cents to five dollars per download. This may or may not be worth your time.

Bottom line, it all depends on what your business goals are.

For some entrepreneurs, raising their brand’s profile and growing their email mailing list is more important than the revenue that an ebook can get them.

Do you have an ebook out? Need help getting started? Tell me in the comments below.

Also, if you haven’t already, feel free to download my ebook, “How to Blog Like an Entrepreneur” for free, and let me know what you think about it!

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FAV 5 Recommended Reading For Smart Entrepreneurs (November 8, 2016)

Hello Entrepreneurs,

Welcome to our FAV 5… recommended reading/watching to help you obliterate your business goals!

 

Plenty of Room On The Island
Seth Godin

Type-A Personality Pitfalls To Avoid [VIDEO]
Dr. Isaiah Hankel

What Disruption Really Means
Tony Robbins

The Zero Drama Life Method [VIDEO]
Robin Sharma

5 Ways to Lead in an Era of Constant Change [VIDEO]
Jim Hemerling – TED Talk

Be amazing!

Nishi

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7 Deadly Sins of Social Media Marketing

If you own and run your own business, and have taken to social media to promote your product or service, then bravo!

But be careful to avoid some of the common pitfalls that many entrepreneurs experience when building a social media presence.

Behold, the 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media Marketing…

sinsNarcissism

Sometimes, it seems like narcissism and social media go hand-in-hand.

Look at what I’m eating.

Look how cute my kid is.

Look how much weight I’ve lost.

Look at all the books I’ve read.

I’m at the club.

I’m at the gym. Again.

Look at my selfie! Another selfie!

Feel familiar?

It’s like a barrage of self-importance coming from all directions.

Whether you believe that narcissism is an unavoidable part of engaging on social media or not, it has absolutely no place when you are trying to build a business brand.

Because when you’re a business, it’s not about you. It’s about your audience.

Who is your target audience? What are your followers’ needs? What problems do they have that need fixing? What questions do they need answering?

Nobody cares about what you’re selling or pitching unless it helps, entertains, distracts, or fills some basic void for your target audience.

Not only does your social media content have to be hyper useful, it needs to be easy to digest. If it’s a blog, it has to be well-written. If it’s a picture quote, it needs to be beautiful and impactful. If it’s a video, it needs to be well-produced and to the point. If it’s an ebook, it needs to be easy to download.

No one is going to go to any great lengths and invest unnecessary time or effort absorbing your social media content – make it easy for them.

Cowardice

When you are promoting your business on social media – especially when you are new at it – you might feel a bit exposed.

This is completely natural.

After all, you are putting yourself and your business out there, for the world to see. And you have little to no control over who gets to see what.

This can be debilitating.

Do not allow cowardice to limit your ability to take calculated risks when coming up with your social media content.

Dare to be original.

Don’t play too safe.

Safe is boring.

Boring is death on social media.

While it’s important to be mindful about how you represent your business in the public arena, you also don’t want to be so uncontroversial that you fail to stand out.

It’s a bit of a balancing act – If you don’t stand out, no one will care about what you have to say. If you’re too controversial, you are going to alienate some people.

Regardless, resist the urge to be everything to everyone. That is what cowards do.

Have the courage to stand out and lose the fear of upsetting some people. Understand that you will lose some followers, and that’s okay. The trick is losing the right people. This will draw the right audience to you.

Vanity

Resist the urge to become overly obsessive when it comes to numbers when you are using social media to grow your business.

Specifically, the number of followers you have, the number of likes, the number of retweets, the number of comments… you get the idea.

These are vanity numbers.

Each of these vanity numbers represent someone out there thinking about us.

These numbers build us up… and they tear us down.

And they fluctuate. Sometimes a lot.

Numbers matter a lot. And as entrepreneurs, we learn very early on that we need to measure our successes and failures and pivot accordingly.

The thing is, you might be measuring the wrong thing.

Having lots of followers and engagement on your social media platforms does not automatically mean that you are getting the RIGHT followers and engagement. For example, if you have a post that goes viral, and it earns many new followers and shares and likes, BUT NO SALES OR CONVERSIONS, then the numbers you are tracking are meaningless.

Vanity numbers may feel or look good, but they can be superficial and meaningless.

Some entrepreneurs fall for the allure of vanity numbers and go as far as purchasing fake followers or likes.

Yes, it’s true – you can buy fake followers, and it’s very easy to do and cheap. Just Google it. I’ll wait.

In fact, some unethical marketing agencies will guarantee their clients a certain number of followers, take money up front, and then go out and buy fake followers. This benefits the client in no way, except it appeases their vanity.

Don’t fall for this.

Buying fake likes and comments can actually work against you. For one thing, the super nerds who create social media platforms have algorithms in place so that purchasing fake followers will hurt your ranking – resulting in LESS people seeing you on social media.

Don’t be so vain that you feel like you have to pretend to be something you’re not. Go for quality rather than quantity. It is better to have a small, loyal following that will sing your praises, rather than a vast, apathetic audience that will never buy your product or service in a million years.

Impatience

A successful social media campaign doesn’t just happen. And it doesn’t just happen overnight.

We are bombarded with news about viral videos that get millions or billions of views within a matter of days, but you have to realize that those are few and far between. Sometimes, those viral videos are sitting online doing nothing for years before they suddenly go viral, maybe because a famous personality or celebrity references it.

The average social media marketing campaign takes time to build up a reputation and attract an avid following.

Over time, you can build rapport with your audience and sell them your product or service.

Figuring out what resonates with your audience takes time. Building trust takes time. Building an audience takes time. Discovering your niche takes time.

Have patience and do not quit before your social media marketing efforts have a chance to gain significant momentum.

Greed

Do not be greedy.

Give stuff away.

And give it away for free.

Give away helpful articles, video tutorials, ebooks, and advice.

Of course, you do need to learn to draw a line at some point. You are – after all still running a business.

But more often than not, when it comes to using social media to market your product or service, you need to give away more of your expertise for free so that you can gain the attention of the right target audience. Only after you’ve earned their loyalty, do you earn the right to ask them to buy from you.

Give first. Give hard. And when it’s time to ask, be explicit so that the pitch doesn’t go over anyone’s head.

Inconsistency

When it comes to social media marketing, the only thing worse than being impatient is being inconsistent.

There’s no point in having a LinkedIn account for 3 years if you’ve only updated your status 5 times: twice in the beginning, once in the middle somewhere, and twice yesterday. You may as well not do anything.

You wouldn’t be inconsistent showing up at the office day after day, would you? You wouldn’t open and close your storefront at different hours of the day, either.

Lights are on, but no one’s home.

As an entrepreneur, you need to be present and post frequently and with consistency in order to be taken seriously on social media.

Otherwise, no one will bother following you if your profile doesn’t show recent and relevant activity.

Silence

Speaking of being present, never go silent on social media.

Always respond to comments, questions and queries. A little bit of acknowledgement with your audience will always go far.

Clients and prospects will often turn to a business’s Facebook page or Twitter feed if they need immediate attention, and if they don’t get a response soon, it reflects poorly on the brand.

Further, if your business gets hashtagged or tagged in a post (say someone is using your product and likes it), make sure you thank them for the shout-out. This is how you will build customer loyalty and make yourself known to your fan’s peer group – a group who, by the way, is likely to have similar tastes and needs as the person who referenced you in the first place, and who might care to join your audience!

Got a deadly sin to add? Tell me in a comment below!

By the way, I’ve got something for you. Download my ebook “ How to Blog Like an Entrepreneur” FOR FREE now. Click here.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

FAV 5 Recommended Reading For Smart Entrepreneurs (October 25, 2016)

Hello Entrepreneurs,

Welcome to our FAV 5… recommended reading/watching to help you obliterate your business goals!

 

Beating yourself up
Seth Godin

Create A Morning Ritual That Will Stick [VIDEO]
Dr. Isaiah Hankel

Turning Haters into Advocates [VIDEO]
Gary Vaynerchuk

How Change-Makers Generate Confidence – Robin Sharma [VIDEO]
Robin Sharma

3 Ways to Trick Your Brain Out of a Mid-Afternoon Slump
Tom Popomaronis – Inc. Magazine

Be amazing!

Nishi

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Posted in Favorite Five | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments