Your Social Media Recipe

 

What is your social media recipe for posting? We all have one. Have you given yours any thought?

 

Let’s have a little fun.

 

Below is a list of different online persona’s. Go through the list and see if you can identify the people that you follow on social media.

 

 

Who do you know on social media that is:

  • Professional Sports Fan (Football, Basketball, Baseball, etc.)
  • College Sports Fan
  • Traveler
  • New parent or expecting
  • Grandma or Grandpa or soon to be
  • Meme lover
  • Dog person
  • Cat person
  • Parent
  • Parent of teen girl(s) or teen boy(s)
  • Loyal to their alma mater
  • Parent of a kid that plays a sport
  • Parent of kid that dances
  • Angry all the time
  • Complainer
  • Ranter
  • Spammer (always selling their product or service)
  • Political Left or Right – will fight to the death
  • Encourager
  • Up-lifter
  • Foodie
  • Drinker
  • Partier
  • Gardener
  • Book lover
  • Artist
  • Crafter
  • Renovator
  • Hippie
  • Health nut
  • Movie watcher
  • Information provider
  • Mom of the bride or groom
  • Over-sharer

How many were you able to identify? Did I miss anyone?

Ok, now go back and determine who people think YOU are online. Go ahead, I can wait…

Welcome back. What did you learn?

What you post online personally and professionally gives an impression. You may not think about what you are posting, but if you can identify others’ by the list above, you can probably be identified as well. It may be that you or the people you follow fall into more than one category.

Recently, I did this exercise in a group that I lead. At the end of the exercise, I could see the light bulbs going off and then someone said “I better relook at what I’ve been posting!”. Yes, you do need to pay attention to it!

This brings me to my original question, what is your social media recipe for posting? I think that many people bring a variety of different aspects of their personality to social media. We typically throw in a little bit of this and a pinch of that. Maybe though, we need to take a closer look at the ingredients and what we are making. You don’t want to be labeled as the spammer or someone that is constantly negative. This hurts your personal brand. What we see online is what we expect in-person. People are constantly observing what we do and we invite them to get a view every time we post.

My social media recipe for business is: encouragement, inspiration and humor, plus social media tips and information. For personal I have a more complicated recipe that includes my business ingredients plus family, gardening, food and sports.

When choosing your social media recipe…

  • Start with your goals for social media.
  • Add who you are talking to.
  • Mix in your expertise.
  • Fold in topics and information your audience can relate to and are interested in.
  • Be mindful that ingredients may need to be substituted from time to time with something fresh.
  • Check the temperature to be sure that your dish is not overcooked.

What is your recipe? What does it include? Please share in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

The Pokémon GO Phenomena

Have you been bit by the Pokémon GO bug yet? Maybe you never will, but I decided to download the app this past weekend. I don’t see myself becoming obsessed with it, but I do see the interest and think it is fun!

Let’s get some perspective for anyone that “doesn’t get it” or is condemning it. Video game playing is a hobby or pastime. It’s not much different than other hobbies like golf, gardening, reading, Fantasy Football, etc. This video game is encouraging people to get outside and involve themselves in a more physical way than just sitting with a controller.

One of the things I like about this app is the community and relationships that it is building. For me, it provided an opportunity to learn something from my son. He has had to tutor me on how to play. Families are getting out and playing together. (Sometimes it’s hard to tell who is more excited, the kids or the parents!)

For gosh sakes, it’s getting people outside! It’s all good in my book when you see groups of people out and about with their phones, laughing and having a good time and helping each other. By the way, you may see a bunch of people with their heads in their phones camped out in a spot. This is a “Gym” where Pokémon GO battles occur.

When Pokémon GO first arrived on the scene, I was not paying too much attention to it. A “game” is not something I spend a lot of time with. Pokémon is certainly not on my list of interests. However, I was intrigued by the stories that started appearing in Reddit, on TV and through various news sources. The overall theme has been the remarkable interactions this game has allowed. People are exploring areas of their city they may not have even thought to go to before.

Pokémon GO Stories: 

  • One of the stories that caught my attention was found on Reddit about an autistic child and how it got him out of rigid routine and communicating with others. I can only imagine the joy for his Mom in seeing her child interacting so openly.
  • Another story that caught my eye this weekend was a police cruiser in San Diego that cranked up the ‘Pokémon GO’ theme song for players while it rolled through Balboa Park. You can hear the laughter of the crowd.  I think this helps build trust in the community.
  • This story is also on Reddit from a police officer. He shares that he noticed a group of kids that were hanging out in a park at night. I like that he pointed out that the kids were doing something right rather than wrong.
  • In Kansas City, the public library has a sign on the door that welcomes Pokémon GO players and encourages them to come inside to play and to let the players know that there is free Wi-Fi. Makes me wonder how many of the players had been inside that library before?
  • I just read that Children’s Hospitals are using the game to engage with the patients. In fact, if you have any spare Lures, drop them by your nearest Children’s Hospital so these sick kiddos can forget about being sick for a while and have some fun.

There are so many great stories and if you have one, I would love for you to share it with me!

So, what can we learn from Pokémon GO?

  • I see Pokémon GO as a great lesson in marketing. Mark Schaefer wrote a blog about this new craze and what we can learn from it. He pointed out that many businesses and marketers are concentrating on building traffic when trust is what we need to be building. ‘We need to build an emotional bond between our company, our content, and our customers.’ Which Nintendo has done so well with this game.
  • We can all learn to be more open to something new. Instead of approaching with condemnation, why not approach with curiosity? Learn more about something and even if it isn’t for you, don’t be judgmental about the people that find it fun or interesting. Who knows, maybe you will find something to like about it too.
  • In the Kansas City Metro area where I live, the animal shelters were encouraging people to volunteer to walk the dogs and play Pokémon GO while out on the walk. A win-win for everyone! How can you turn something that is trending into something that is relevant for your business or organization?

These are just a few of my takeaways I see with Pokémon GO. How about you?

I will end with this, in the current environment we are living in, there seems to be so much separatedness. If a mobile game is what brings us together, I am all for it.

Until next time…

 

 

Do You Have a Social Media Action Plan?

What if I told you that Social Media Action Planyou don’t need to be on social media 24/7 for it to work for your business? It’s true! In fact, with a social media action plan, you can have impact in as little as a few hours each week.

Keep reading…it IS possible!

When entrepreneurs and small business owners are frustrated and/or overwhelmed by social media, many times it is because they haven’t created a social media action plan. They think that posting something every day or once a week or whenever they have time is a plan.

I am here to tell you, that is NOT a plan. That is a wish and a prayer that someone will connect with you.

plan = focus

Focus provides you the direction so you aren’t wasting a bunch of time.

Let’s talk about what goes into a social media action plan. In a previous blog, I talked about social media mindset. In a nutshell, who is your audience and what matters to them? You can read the blog post here. Once you have answered these questions, you can move onto the ones that go into a social media action plan. Here are a few:

  • Which social media platforms do my peeps (ideal client) use?
  • What content is relevant to my audience?
  • When should I post this content?

How often should I post on each platform?

Each of these questions is really an entire blog, but I will give you at least some direction to get you started.

It has been my experience that too many times business owners think they need to be on every platform. This tends to overwhelm them and then they don’t actually end up “doing” any social media. My philosophy is that you should choose one or two social media platforms that are best for connecting with your ideal client, do them really, really well and then see if you want to add another platform. When it comes to which platforms, I found this blog and infographic from Social Media Today very helpful. As you study it, you should be able to identify where your ideal client likes to hang out on line.

When I work with my coaching clients on creating their social media action plan, one of the exercises involves deciding what kind of content you could post for each day.

This is a simplified version, but for example:

  • Monday could be the day you share a #MotivationMonday post
  • Tuesday can be your blog
  • Wednesday…

Each client is a bit different and we brainstorm over the kind of content that works for them and their audience. Keep in mind that you always want to be adding value. (Value can be encouragement, laughter, tips, education…)

Frequency of posting and the best time to post really depend on you and your audience. In order to stay current with most of the social media algorithms, a daily post is typically the minimum. The time of day depends on when your audience is most likely to be online. To start, try early morning or after 6pm during the week and then adjust from there.

If you just started to panic because you don’t think you can post every day… TIME OUT! Take a pause and breathe.

I am all about making things simpler for you. If you haven’t been posting consistently now, look at posting three times per week. Then work up to four times per week, etc. It’s not an all-or-nothing deal. Stop running around like a crazy person or being overwhelmed by social media; create a social media action plan that works for you and your business.

Vicki’s Social Media Action Plan Process:

  • Each week I set aside time to plan what I am going to post on each day and to each platform.
  • I then schedule my posts.
  • Each day, I check-in to my platforms and engage with the people that make comments etc. and then I go about my day. (This can be a 5 to 10 minute deal a few times a day.)
  • If I find something relevant that I want to post immediately, I then add it to my mix.

You may find it easier to schedule your posts the night before or for several days in a row instead of a week in advance. It doesn’t matter how you do it, it just matters that you do it. The biggest part is setting aside time each week to plan out your content.

Here is something to think about. You fuel your body everyday with food and water. You need to fuel your business with marketing. You must take the time (schedule it every week as an appointment you cannot miss) and then use your social media action plan to create and schedule your posts.

In social media, consistency wins. Get consistent with your updating. As mentioned before, if everyday seems daunting, start with three times per week and then work your way up to daily. Once you are consistent and things are working for you, decide if you want/need more content or another platform to share with your ideal client. By putting a social media action plan into place, you will find that keeping your social media platforms current and connecting with your ideal client isn’t that difficult.

Hey – before I sign-off, I have a gift for you. Here is a training that may help you with your time management. I have a recorded webinar that you can watch for FREE (it’s a $47 value). All you need to do is sign-up with this link: Time Management and Social Media Webinar.

Until next time…

PS: We went from social media mindset last week to social media action plan this week. The first step in my coaching program, Social Media MAP – Mindset and Action Plan™ is Clarify. If you would like to delve much deeper into creating a personalized social media plan that will work for you, contact me for more information & availability.

 

Social Media Mindset

Social Media MindsetWhat is your social media mindset? If you Google “mindset”  you receive this definition – “the established set of attitudes held by someone”. So, what is your mindset when it comes to social media?

For many, their social media mindset is, “I’ve got to do this because everyone else is” or “I have to be on Twitter (or Shapchat or Instagram, etc.) because my friend’s- second-cousin’s-boyfriend has thousands of people following them”.

Maybe your social media mindset is about ignoring social media. You hate it on a personal level, it seems like a big time-suck, you don’t want to learn it and no one is going to make you. Besides, eventually it won’t be relevant anymore and everyone will go back to do things the old-fashioned way.

There are so many different ways that we think about social media, but one thing I see with my clients, self-employed professionals and small business owners, social media is mainly misunderstood. When it’s not understood from the start, how can you have a healthy social media mindset?

Social media is first and foremost about being social. If you are attacking social media as solely an advertising platform to get your message out over and over again, then you are missing the beauty of this connective tool.

Here are some of the social media mindset questions you need to be asking:

  • Who are your peeps? (Or if peeps is too girly for you, who is your ideal client?)
  • What do they like to learn about?
  • What interests them?
  • What makes them tick?
  • What makes them laugh?
  • What encourages them?
  • How can you be of service to them?
  • What are their biggest worries?
  • What can you do to make their life or business easier and/or better?
  • How do you not add to the noise of social media, but provide something of value?
  • What trips-them-up in their day-to-day life?
  • What will make them want to have a conversation, like and/or share your content or recommend you to everyone else?

These are just some of the new social media mindset questions you should be considering.

You see, you need to make it about THEM. When you understand your audience and learn to serve them, social media becomes so much easier and has a much bigger purpose. Yes, I know you have a widget or service you are providing, but until you understand your audience, learn to talk with them and earn their trust, what you have to sell is of little relevance.

This is very simplified for a much deeper conversation I typically have with my coaching clients but, starting down the path of understanding your ideal audience and what their needs are, will give you more success in all of your marketing. You can then amplify your message on social media and make the use of your time more successful.

New Mindset =  New Results

What is YOUR social media mindset? Has it changed (even a bit) since you read this article? I welcome your insights and thoughts.

Until next time….

Hey, friend! I have a FREE download for improving your LinkedIn Profile. You can grab it here. If you accept the link to go into my newsletter, I promise to not spam you! I have some exciting things to share and hope you will be part of my community. You may also follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Stop by and say “hello”!

16 Best Social Media Tips for 2016

 

Social Media Tips for 2016Are you looking for the latest social media tips for eliminating overwhelm while marketing your business? Look no further than these 16 tips for creating your social media mindset so you can take action on what works.

1 – You Don’t Have To Do Everything

I see business owners burn-out on social media very quickly when they think they have to be on every platform and update 24/7. Give yourself a break. It is good to claim the real estate on each platform for your name and/or business, but then choose the one or two platforms that your ideal client uses and learn to communicate with them there. Once you mastered these, decide if you want or need to add another platform. Doesn’t that feel better already?

2 – Know Your Ideal Audience

We all like to think that our products or services are good for everyone, but in reality there is a select group of people that resonate best with us. It’s okay to niche your business. In fact, it’s better than spreading yourself way too thin trying to be everything for everyone. Who is your ideal target audience? Where do they hang out online? As mentioned above, work with the platforms that they use the most. This way you don’t have to be on Snapchat when your customer is mostly on Facebook.

3 – Build Relationships First

Social media is like a big party. When you walk into a party, you don’t go up to someone and immediately ask for them to buy something. That would be weird. On social media don’t immediately start selling to people you just met. Ugh, I hate when I connect with someone and their very next message is to a sales page.  Twitter Direct Messages or any kind of message with links back to your website that ask for the sale is considered SPAM. Just don’t do it. Work on getting to know the person first.

4 – A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Have a good, professional picture to use on your social media profiles. Be sure you are looking at the camera and have a nice, warm smile. Use the same photo on each of your profiles for better recognition.

If using a logo for a business, be sure that it’s clear and sized correctly. It is worth paying someone to give you multiple sizes of a good quality logo than to use something that is fuzzy and/or doesn’t fit in the space provided. It’s the little details that make all the difference.

5 – Branding

Each of your social media platforms should be named the same. This is true if it’s a business name or a personal name. This allows for ease of searching and identifying your name or business. It also adds to your search engine optimization.

6 – Do a Social Media Audit

Over the past 13 years, social media sites have frequently popped up. When was the last time you had a thorough look at your total social media presence? Are you named the same on each platform? What is the profile picture? There are a lot of areas you should be evaluating. If you would like to have a professional take a look, go here to sign-up for a Social Media Audit with me.

7 – Content is Still King and Queen

Providing high-quality content for your audience and potential customers is key to having social media work for you. Great content attracts people organically and creates trust in you and/or your business. Create consistent, relevant content that illustrates your expertise, approach, culture and core values. This will help to keep you top of mind whenever potential customers are ready to make a decision. 

8 – Video, Video, Video

Create more video content. Video is the most important strategy in content marketing. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube or with Periscope, Blab, or Facebook Live, be sure you are adding video to your updating plan. By the way, don’t feel like you have to use all of these platforms. Choose where your ideal customer likes to connect with you.

9 – Be Real

Social media should be an extension of what it’s like to meet you in person, or for a business, should convey the culture. Don’t be afraid to show the human side of the business. Give a peek inside. Endear your customers to you.

10 – Be Useful or Educational

Too many times I see businesses that are using social media like it’s a commercial or a big ad. Instead of that approach, think of this medium as a way to provide education or to be useful in some manner. There are many thoughts out there on how much to sell on social media, I like the 80/20 Rule where 80% of the time is all about education, entertainment and being helpful, and 20% is selling something. No one likes to be spammed!

11 – Have a Plan

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a social media marketing plan. When I hear of a business owner or entrepreneur that is struggling with social media, at the core is that they don’t have a social media structure, strategy or plan that aligns to their goals. The lack of a plan causes overwhelm and frustration and then social media gets put on the back burner. If this is you or someone you care about, I have a proprietary system that will make everything so much easier. Ask me about Social Media MAP – Mindset and Action Plan. 

12 – Consistency in Updating

You do not need to be on social media 24/7. However, you do need to show up consistently. Once a month is not considered consistent (and the algorithms won’t be your friend). I recommend daily connection in most cases.  Also, there are many tools you can use to pre-schedule your content so that you can: plan it, schedule it and then check-in daily for engagement. For my scheduling, I use Hootsuite and the Facebook scheduler, but there are lots of other options available.

13 – Hashtags

Using hashtags to help identify the topic or keyword in a social media update can be helpful, but choose the correct platform. Hashtags work great on Twitter, Google+ and Instagram, but they have very little use on Facebook (although they are searchable). They are not necessary for Pinterest and on LinkedIn they are not searchable at all.

14 – Social Media Tools

One of my favorite tools for creating graphics is Canva. It’s a great site that provides you the proper sizing for creating social media images and has lots of different formatting options. I call it the “photoshop for dummies”.

15 – Personalize Connection Requests

When asking for a connection to someone on LinkedIn, use the feature where you can send a personal message. Mention where you met, what you talked about and ask for the connection. If you haven’t met the person before, tell them why you wish to connect. This starts the relationship. (This feature IS available on the app. When looking at the profile of someone, in the upper right corner should be three dots, click on the dots and this should bring up a menu of options.) Don’t skip this step, it’s important in establishing rapport.

16 – Facebook Advertising

I typically hear a collective groan when I mention Facebook and advertising together. Then the whining starts, “I don’t want to pay to play….”. Well, you are missing out on one of the best and least expensive advertising opportunities available. Consider the sheer size of Facebook and the information that is available to them, Facebook ads have a high success rate at targeting a specific audience of potential customers for very little money.

There you have it, 16 social media tips that can help focus your social media efforts. Did you learn something new that you can take action on? As always, if you have questions, reach out to me.

Until next time….

Coffee and a Post

Coffee and a Post  When I poll a group of entrepreneurs or small business owners about what their biggest challenge is for social media, I hear time and time again, “it takes so much time.” I can already tell you are nodding “yes,” with that answer as well. I get it! Social media does seem to be one of those time-traps.

Last weekend I was discussing with my husband, Gus, the topics I was going to speak about in some upcoming keynotes and workshops. I told him that time management seems to be a very hot topic. He mentioned that he sees lots of people having a cup of coffee while scrolling through social media on their phones. We talked about if someone used that time to actually post, wouldn’t it seem like it didn’t take as much time? He then said, “Coffee and a Post”. (Have I told you yet, that I married a brilliant guy?!)

Now, to make your posts valuable content and simple to do while sipping your coffee, you have to know what to post ahead of time. That is where a simple social media content plan comes in handy. I truly believe that not having a plan is the biggest issue, but also finding a way to slip in the time to work the plan is the second largest issue.

Today I am introducing, Coffee and a Post™.

Each day when you have your morning beverage (whether it be coffee, tea, soda, juice, water, etc.), pause, then get your phone out and make your social media post. You CANnonDo it! This also works for later in the day, so consider doing, Wine and a Post™. It doesn’t matter what the beverage is; what matters is that if you are pausing to check your phone during a brief break anytime during the day, you have time to maintain a consistent social media presence for your business. That presence may be posting new content, sharing content from peers, or responding to follower engagement (comments, likes, replies).

If you want help with a simple updating plan, reach out for a coaching session with Vicki.

11 CANnonDo Facebook Security Tips For You

Vicki S. Cannon - Social Media - CANnonDo - Privacy and Security

Facebook security is important. There are so many different ways that your account can be placed at risk. Use these CANnonDo Facebook security tips to protect you and your account.

1. Turn On Login Approvals
Require a security code to access your account from unknown browsers by requiring login approvals.
– Click in the top right of Facebook and select Settings
– Click on Security on the left side
– Choose “Login Approvals”: Require a security code to access my account from unknown browsers

2. Don’t Do Facebook Quizzes
Examples: personality tests, friend comparison, most liked photos, most used words, TV Mom you are most like, etc.
– By taking these “fun quizzes” you may be unwittingly providing these app companies with a ton of your personal data
– Some of this data may be used to guess your passwords, hack accounts, and even steal your identity
– Some apps are malicious. They contain viruses, worms, malware or some other way of harming you. They might steal things like your personal information, others’ contact information, or passwords and share them with others

3. Do Not Accept a Second Friend Requests From People That You Are Already Friends With
Scammers send friend requests out from a fake profile that looks like yours.
– Your friends may think it is you and accept when in fact, it’s a cloned account
– The scammers can then post messages that your friends may think were written by you.
– Private messages are then sent to the new friends of this cloned account (which still looks like you). Typically the message gives a story that you are in a dire situation and need money wired immediately
– If you receive a request from someone you think you are friends with, search their name and double check
– Report the cloned account to Facebook and warn your friend
– See how to protect your account in item #4

4. Hide your Friends List
This protects you from having a cloned account created as mentioned above.
– Go to your profile
– Click on “Friends”
– Click on the pencil
– Edit Privacy
– “Friends” or “Only Me”

5. Don’t Like, Comment, Share To Win Prizes
This is how this works: A fake name brand account has been created. Posted to the page is a contest for a giveaway. You are asked to share, comment & like the page to win.
Examples: SouthWest AIR instead of Southwest Airlines (that has a verified check beside it)
– If the post promises prizes for liking, commenting and sharing, it is a likely a hoax/scam
– By engaging with these activities, you are showing scammers that you are gullible which can make you a target for future scams

6. When You Go Out of Town, Don’t Post Until You Get Back
Posting pictures while on vacation is providing an advertisement that your home is empty and can be easily robbed.

7. Posting Pictures or Updates to Social Media, Should Always be Considered to be Public
Anything online could get spread wider than you intended, so make sure you never share anything too specific about your child or his/her location.

8. Don’t Accept Friend Requests From People You Don’t Know
Attractive women (many times they are scantily clad) reach out to men.
Attractive men (with cars, boats and sometimes children) reach out to women.
– Delete the request

9. Hide Your Birth Year
Providing this information makes it easier for your identity to be stolen.
To change:
– On your profile click on “Update Information”
– Contact & Basic Info
– Birth Year
– Edit
– Only You

10. Do Not Share Personal Information
Reminder that placing your address and phone number on your profile or in a message makes that information public.

11. Block Apps or Games
– Click in the top right of Facebook and select Settings
– Click Blocking in the left column
– In the Block apps section, type the name of the app or game you want to block. To unblock an app or game, click Unblock next to its name

If you need additional assistance with your Facebook security, reach out to me on Facebook with your question.  ~ Vicki

11 Social Media Tips to Jump Start Your New Year

Vicki S. Cannon - Social Media - CANnonDo - Happy New Year

The New Year always reminds us of new and fresh starts. It’s also a perfect time to evaluate the past year and decide what worked, what’s still working and what needs to go away. This is true not only with life, but also with our businesses. Since I focus on social media for entrepreneurs, employee-preneurs and small business owners, let’s talk about what you can do to jumpstart your New Year.

1 – Goals: Create and solidify your social media goals for the New Year. Do you want more followers, engagement, prospects, brand awareness, website traffic, etc.? Each goal has different tactics, so choose just a few to focus on.

2 – Profiles: Take a fresh look at all of your social media profiles. Is it time for a fresh profile or cover image? How about your bio and about sections? Canva.com and picmonkey.com are great resources to help you create new cover images. Plan to change your cover images at least quarterly.

3 – Analytics: Take a look at your insights for your Facebook Business Page. Also, if you use a tool like Hootsuite, plan to review other social platform analytics. Resolve for the New Year to take a quick look, even just once a week, and learn at least one thing from your content’s performance.

4 – Planning Tools: Planning social media across multiple platforms can be complicated. Start with a content (editorial) calendar and updating strategy. Schedule a weekly planning and scheduling session just like you would any other important appointment. Choose a tool like Hootsuite, Buffer or Social Sprout for pre-scheduling your posts.

5 – Evaluate Platforms: Are the current platforms working for you? Is your ideal client still using them? Are there new platforms that you should be considering? Spend some time researching changes to social media that may impact your business.

6 – Training: Do you need to brush-up on any social media skills with some training? Maybe it’s time to hire a coach to help you take it to the next level. Don’t go it alone — social media changes quickly and the tactics you used this past year may not be what you should be focus on for the New Year.

7 – Facebook Ads: If you are use Facebook for business, ads are critical for expanding your reach. Facebook is the largest marketing company in the world. You can target your ideal client for a relatively small budget (as little as $5 to $10 per day). Review your social media goals and determine your ad budget for the next few months.

8 – Save This Link on Facebook: When Facebook introduced the “save” function, many content marketers were excited (I know I love this feature).  However, remember to review the file at least weekly. You saved content for a reason, so a quick review can help you unearth a few hidden gems of content to share.

9 – Use Hashtags:  Hashtags are important because they help increase social media engagement with new users on most of the top social media platforms. Find relevant hashtags to your business/niche so you can reach your target audience.

10 – Plan On Being More Human: Authenticity and candor are what people are looking for. You can build “Know-Like-Trust” much quicker when people feel they can identify with you. Consider doing at least one weekly behind-the-scenes image or video post.

11- Don’t Ignore Video: Many of us hate to be in front of a camera or to be on film, but video is a strong way for people to get to know you. Add at least one video update per week.

So there you have it – a New Year and many new ways to engage with your friends, clients and prospects. If this seems overwhelming, reach out to me and we can discuss a coaching or training program to help you take the New Year by storm.

7 Reasons to Update Your Online Profile Picture Now

When was the last time you had a new picture taken for your social media platforms and/or website? If you are sitting there thinking “I don’t know, let me think” it has been too long.  Why update your pictures? Why worry about whether or not your social pictures are professional? Because your audience and prospects are already trying to figure out if they trust you. Not having a professional photo can hamper your interactions and impact on social media.

A good profile image is a vital piece of your branding and identity in the online world. Think of it as your visual signature. It is THE icon that signifies who you are. At a glance people should be able to quickly identify that image with your interactions elsewhere on any social network, on the web and also in person.

Here is a list of the reasons you should have a picture taken NOW:

  1. Gained weight? It’s ok. YOU are what is important, not the number on the scale!

  2. Lost weight? Even if not at your goal, go get them done! See #1.

  3. Changed your hair? This goes for color and/or length & style as well as beards or no beards, etc.

  4. New glasses? There are many wonderful and fun new frames out there, show off your new peeps.

  5. Lasik surgery or contacts? If people are used to seeing you in glasses, but you no longer are wearing them, be sure your photo reflects this.

  6. Aged a few years? Embrace your wisdom! Besides, you don’t want someone going into shock because you don’t appear as the 20 or 30 year old they see on your site right now.

  7. Changed businesses? If your business has changed from a button down to more casual or visa versa, it is important that your current images reflect the right industry. A banker/financial person will likely be dressed more professionally than someone in a landscaping business. If you picture does not reflect the type of business you are in, get it changed. I hate seeing men in ties and suit jackets that don’t normally wear one when meeting clients. They typically look very uncomfortable and that reflects out to the world.

Do you get the picture (no pun intended!) now? The key thing is that your image has to be recognizably you in the here and now.

You don’t need to be perfect! You just need to be YOU. 100%, wonderful, powerful YOU!! To recap, if you hair or glasses have changed, your current picture is more than 2 or 3 years old or you are now 15 pounds (over or under) since your last pictures, it is time for an update!

I know we all have our reasons why we don’t want to do it, but it all boils down to this: People are going to meet you in person. If who they meet is drastically different than who they think they were meeting from your online pictures, there is an instant disconnect and mistrust. It is much harder to come back from this than you can imagine. Don’t make me wonder about what else you are misrepresenting. Besides, embracing who you are is sexier and more powerful than you can imagine (and it inspires trust!).

Now go schedule that photography session!

Until next time…spread kindness wherever you go.