This is our blog, where we share our thoughts on all sorts of things from Facebook to business development, from networking to using html and for sharing things that have inspired us….
Hello! Thank you for coming and checking this page out – this is where I’ll update everything with the resources, links and the presentation I’m going to be giving on managing your online brand.
6 steps to managing your online reputation – Forbes, Susan Adams, 2014.
How to write a post on your LinkedIn profile – LinkedIn, Neal Schaffer, 2014
How to make the most of your cover image on Facebook – Weston Comms, Liz Weston, 2015
How to SEO your LinkedIn profile – Linkedin, Brian Shumway, 2014
How to use Buffer to share your posts – Buffer – or just watch the video below!
I’ll add my own presentation to slide share once I’ve finalised it!
Google Digital Garage is good for all sorts of people – if you’re someone who has been around the digital block a few times, as I have, you’ll find it useful because we are all learning all the time and even if you ace everything in the course and get it right instantly, there’s likely to be a couple of things that make you say “errr Digital Garage? Google? I’m not sure I agree with you on that” – and for me, that’s good as well, because it means my grey matter is churning away.
If you’re new to all things digital and the online space, then it’s a great starting point for helping you get a plan together on what you want to do to leverage it to build a strong community that delivers sales for you.
Do you want to learn more about all things online? To check that you’ve covered all the bases for finding, growing and cultivating your own communities online? Google Digital Garage is for you: it covers a broad range of topics including:
The online opportunity
First steps to online success
Building your web presence
Connecting with communities through email
Starting out with search
Getting discovered through search
Making search work for you
Utilising search ads
Improving search campaigns
Getting started with analytics
Finding success with analytics
Get noticed locally
Help people nearby find you online
Get noticed with social media
And that’s just a few of the 23 topics I’ve done in this course – there’s more – all shown below in the images of what I did for the course. I’m not an affiliate for Google Digital Garage. I’m not in a working relationship with anyone at Google Digital Garage – I’m just someone who wants to help as many people as possible to make the most of their time online.
I’ve actually enjoyed this course so much that I’m going to write another one in a moment on how and why this course can benefit your business and your outlook online. If you’ve not signed up for Google Digital Garage do it now – it’s free, can be done from your phone or tablet in easy chunks whilst you’re inbetween meetings and will give you plenty to think about.
Global Entrepreneurship Week starts tomorrow – Monday 16 November. I’m really pleased to be part of it – not least because I think that I’m the speaker at the only Global Entrepreneurship Week event that’s been hosted in Cambridge this week coming!!! Really people???? Cambridge? Without someone speaking about what it’s like to be an Entrepreneur? Or an aspiring Entrepreneur??? We really need to up our game here.
Good job then, that Nic Williams decided something needed doing about this and that she would put on an event. Good job too, that I had the pleasure of meeting Seth Godin a couple of weeks ago and spending the day learning from him and debating all things marketing with him! The only fly in the ointment is that a few weeks ago, I did an event where I was asked to speak about social media and marketing where I ran over in time and didn’t enjoy the experience because of it. So for this event, I’ve well and truly pared it down. So much so, that I’m down to ten images to share with the attendees at The Orchard, Granchester, on Tuesday 17 November, at 10.30am.
I know you won’t believe me because I’m a fan of sharing as many resources and links as possible. But I want you to know that I’m going to be talking and sharing my learning to date in a different way this time – have a look at the image below.
Is it perfect? No
Will it make sense to people who aren’t there on the day? No
Will these images be really useful in bringing concepts to life for people who are there on the day? Yes
Should you be there? Yes
If you really can’t make it but can’t, don’t worry. I’ll be recording this and then having it transcribed. I’ll make it available to buy for £19.99 plus VAT and you can pay via PayPal to get it. And seeing as the event is free, I really think you’d be best to be there instead of missing it and needing to pay for it. There’s a value in showing up and I want you all to experience it. Hence my making it more expensive to not show up….
So, are you coming?
If you fancy it, leave a comment below with your name and your business urls so that I can check you out online before we meet!
I’ve been sat on this post for several months – wondering if it’s too self absorbed to share or not. So now I’m sharing it so that you can tell me whether it is or not and also, how you would phrase this differently if you were expressing your thoughts on this kind of thing…..
Disclosure: this is not a post with a ‘how to’ or learning point. I am writing this post to document my learning. I’m writing for the people who are interested in what I’m learning at the moment from Frederic Laloux’s book “Reinventing Organisations” and what I want to come from this is a) more conversation about being as truthful and straightforward in presenting ourselves to clients and b) giving potenial clients another opportunity to get to know, like and trust me, before approaching me with a potential project.
This is a cathartic share and in many ways, self indulgent documentation of a lightbulb moment I’ve had today. I’m publishing this as I’m learning so much at the moment and changing and challenging myself and my thinking. I’ve been discussing it online and a few people have asked me to document it as I go along. So that’s what I’m going to do, right now, in this post….
I want to make you a promise. I won’t just shake on it with you. I’ll pinky promise. I promise that when I do get up to do a presentation or share my learning, or finally get around to doing a webinar with you, I will not:
1. Spend the first 90 minutes sharing my life story (I will not detail every step my ascent to greatness from the early days of banana packing in the holidays)
2. Show you a picture of the home I grew up in and the home I now live in (not least because the home I live in is full of toys and not that tidy a place…)
3. Share photos of the flash cars that I drive. (Mostly because I don’t have a flash car – I have my mother in law’s hand me down. I really do)
4. Brag about going to silverstone and taking 12 of my mates with me / share pictures of me at the X Factor Final in a celebs only space / share photos of my amazing second / third holiday homes that I own.
What’s got me feeling like I have to share this? I went to an event today. I knew I was going to this event for someone to sell me additional training and sharing of their insights. Heck, I was interested in paying them several thousand pounds for the additional learning opportunity. But I was not prepared to pay to listen for 90 minutes of someone’s bragging about minute details of their rise to their definition of uber success. I couldn’t handle it. So I left.
To be fair the person who was “sharing his knowledge” will likely not want me as a customer. Why? Because I’m not the right type for them. I’m working towards ownership of something that’s not measured by money – I’m working towards ownership of my life – as a great life – and for the same for the team I am part of. I’m working towards earning money for holidays where I can make memories with my children. I’m working towards having a cleaner twice a week and doing our washing and ironing AND pairing the socks, so that I can spend more time hanging out with my boys.
I’m not the right person for several other reasons. The chief one being that I’m not wanting to fit into a fully automated process and scalability model of selling our services to the world.
Today I have realised that I already have many of the skills I’m looking to develop. I’m smart enough to know what I can and can’t do – and know how and where to buy in other people who can bring the skills that I need. I also know that I have the ability to sell – sheesh, have you heard me talk about bureau direct’s stationery??? !!!! But what I don’t have, is the detached ability to manipulate, leverage and sell, sell, sell, regardless of whether you are a good fit for us or whether we can do an awesome job for you. I can’t do it.
And nor do I want to.
I’m seeing so much about automation and the ability to work less and earn gazillions whilst sipping piña coladas on a hot beach. Maybe in the future this is what I will feel like or want to be doing. I’m open to change. I know that it’s ok to change my mind on things. I’m all for learning and evolving. But right now, I’m learning the following:
1. If I buy a resource, training or package I cannot learn from it until I have actually spent the time using it
2. When I make the time to do it, I am great at teaching myself how to do things and usually find out lots of other interesting adjacent things on the way
3. I need to put myself in a place where I learn. Where I switch everything else off and learn. I’m going to work out some dates for this and go from there. And share them publicly. And moreover, I will document what I am learning from them.
It’s taken my getting up, asking family to help with childcare to take our boys to school, parking, train ticket and emergency hot chocolate purchases after wandering London lost for 20 minutes- not to mention, spending 8 hours of my day on getting there and getting back to the office, to realise this. To have this lightbulb moment. That working smart, not hard, means I need to trust my instinct and inner abilities.
I think that one of the reasons why I’ve resisted doing a course, doing webinars and selling so far, is because I couldn’t work out a way to do it with pride. The ways that I’m seeing other people do it make me cringe. Every time that I go a presentation or webinar online there’s so much scene setting – aka – bragging – about why someone is qualified to teach me about something and how they are in the right place to share their learning. Surely the fact that I’m signed up tells you that I already trust you and believe in you enough to give you my time?
For those who don’t know me, I have written two posts.
The first is a post where I tell my story – who I am, where I have come from and what I’ve done along the way. There’s no photos of me as a child, or my childhood home. Promise. Here’s the long link for folks who prefer to click on them: http://westoncomms.com/2015/03/my-story-by-liz-weston/
The second is a brag, brag, brag post. So that if you want to know why I believe myself to be qualified to take two hours of your time in a webinar and how I’ve come to think that I’m in a place where I’m really able to teach you about social media, communications and marketing , you can check it out there. Again, here’s the long link for folks who prefer to click on them: http://westoncomms.com/2015/03/brag-brag-brag/
Now, if you’ve got through this emotional expression of what’s happened to me today, and my damascene lightbulb moment, and you still want to work with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 501520 for an initial chat about how we can help you with growing communities that are truly engaged with you, your work and your stories – so much so that they can’t wait to share them with other people.
What this post is about:
Challenging the concept that there are any hard and fast rules in social media.
Who this post is for:
Everyone who contributes to a business or brand presence on any social media platform
I’m always being asked as to what the ‘golden rules’ are of social media. Truth is, there’s only one rule that I think applies to absolutely everyone. And that is, to make everything you do, about serving your online community. I was prompted to write this post, because we’ve got a client – the Happiness App, that is totally bucking the trends of sharing mixed content types and doing amazingly well with it. There’s very little sharing of other people’s content, text based statuses, questions, Q&A, news pieces or audio. Instead, it’s all about the images and even more specifically, images with quotes. I thought it was worth documenting it because there’s been such a backlash against images with quotes in recent months – it just goes to show that when you’re doing what’s right by your own community, very little else matters.
I’ve been banding an image about recently, with this quote on it…
And it’s never truer than in this example. Louise Palmer-Masterton is the brainchild behind the Happiness App, which is currently being made in a top secret secure unit. She won’t mind my telling you that she’s just turned 50. She’s been sharpening her axe since she was a child – studying yoga, mindfulness and the human experience from her early teenage years, so she doesn’t just know her market – she literally lives and breathes it. By being so knowledgeable, she’s been able to tap into the things that make her community feel good, confident, happy, inspired and motivated. The sheer volumes of shares on the images and the rate at which the community is growing on Facebook is proof of that. Here’s some examples.
So, what do I want you to take from this? That it is possible to nail it on social media – to get lots of engagement online without paying to promote your posts / tweets, that you don’t need to follow what other businesses and brands are doing and finally, that it is all still there for the taking. The Ship Has Not Sailed.
I want to challenge you to a) really look at your stats – to identify what it is that your community respond to and share with their friends and b) really look at your content to develop your instinct on this – and then, revert to a!
What’s working for you?
I have been trained since I was 15 years old, to love writing. To use writing in a whole host of formats – long essays, Q & A, short paragraphs – you name it, I’ve done it. Exams, papers and assignments have utilised and refined my ability to write. As part of my personal mission to move on from being a Type A person, I’m researching ways to help myself express thoughts, ideas and knowledge, using other formats. One thing that is working for me, is using images as a way to inspire and also, restrict myself – to stop myself having outpourings on here!
So, this post is now multi purpose. It is allowing me to show you a) how great the Pablo tool from Buffer is, b) challenge myself to write more succinctly on three things that I want to write about and c) share how images really are powerful things in your content.
1. Questions, questions, questions…
If you want to work out what your audience wants – ask them. Encourage your community to vote with their feet – to like and share what they like, to message you if they see something that feels off key. No really, it can be that simple. I want to write posts and teach about storytelling and how it works in the social media context. What our audience wants is to know how they can get their voice heard online, and how to measure what’s working. We deliver what our audience wants – that’s what pays our bills. We’ll try to weave the storytelling in there as well, because we know it to be a successful way to get your voice heard in the noise, but we won’t position as that, because that’s not what we’ve been asked to do. And how do we know this? Because we’ve asked people – what do you want from us.
2. Have a plan. And then be ready to change it.
In my head, I sound like Harvey Spectre in Suits, when I’m writing this. Have. A. Plan. But don’t spend too long on it, because the best plans are those that are specific enough to mean that we know what we are working towards and how we’ll measure success, but fluid enough for us to still provide opportunities to evolve within it according to the unexpected things that happen whilst implementing it. This could also be referred to as expecting the unexpected. We’re always expecting the unexpected. It’s scary stuff, but also means we get to fully exploit and be responsive, which is a brilliant thing to be doing, to get the most results for our investment of time and money. On re reading this paragraph, I’ve gone totally from writing about plans, to the benefits of going off plan. The irony.. If I were Abraham Lincoln, I’d maybe spend a couple of hours, or three, sharpening my axe. But not four. What if his axe handle broke? What if the axe got stuck in the tree?
3. Take time to think
I’ve reused Abraham Lincoln here because the other side of this quote to me, is that thinking is a good thing. It’s something that we do all the time. We never stop thinking. It can be annoying and frustrating, but we do it. I encourage the team to spend time reading, researching, challenging established norms, working out what we can flip on its head, seeing what’s working and, what’s been a total non starter, because it’s all good fuel for our thinking. It means that when you are spending your two / three or even four hours sharpening your axe, it’s going to be time that draws upon your previous thinking. By thinking and making time for it, it means that when you need to be quick off the mark, your thinking will be uber trained, and able to react – you’ll not need Berrocca, because you’ll already be on it!