We’ve been talking about the LadyBlogger Conference for awhile now, and I couldn’t be more excited to be on board as a speaker! Both Somer and I will be traveling to St. Louis for the April 11th conference, where I’ll be sharing basic blogger photography tips and tricks while Somer offers several really exciting professional opportunities to the attendees! Before I let the cat out of the bag with the special offers we’ll be promoting, I’ll give you the quickie 411 on what to expect at my Blogger Photography 101 session.
Blogger Photography 101 will focus on the “art of the sale.” That’s right! You, a blogger, are in sales. What are you selling? Your voice! And how do your images play into making the sale (i.e. getting a potential reader to click through to your site)? Three simple words. COMPEL. CAPTIVATE. CONNECT. I’ll be digging into these power house words at the conference, defining each and directing appropriate visual strategy to improve your reach. We’ll touch briefly on the fundamentals of light and photography, but rest assured, this class is for everyone! Whether you have a high end DSLR or are just stuck using your iPhone right now, this class will provide the insight to creating images that trigger reader response. Join me in St. Louis and take your blogger photography to the next level!
So what else are we bringing along with us to #LB2015??? We’re creating a fabulous one-stop shop for all attendees and vendors to help streamline your brand, take a step towards becoming more professional and showcasing your very best self! Combining our brands at The Hampton Roads Creative and Modern Femme Photography, we’re offering you the chance to treat your blog like your business!
What are 3 things every business owner needs? A professional head shot, well-designed business cards…and strategy.
Here’s your chance to grab all three!
- Professional Head Shots – First impressions truly are everything. You only get one! And when it comes to sponsored posts, professional communities, or other potential blogger money-makers, having a professional head shot on hand to lead the way can be the difference between a passing glance and a “We need to work with them!” As the photogs behind Modern Femme, we’re uniquely equipped with highlight a woman’s unique beauty and strength. We’ll be shooting portraits on site at LadyBlogger with a crazy awesome special conference rate! $40 will get you 2 high resolution edited digital head shots. This is a savings of over $200 from our normal portrait packages! Completely remodel your professional image online for a next-to-nothing investment. WIN!
- Official Business Cards – Do you have a business card for your blog? While most of our interactions may occur online, opportunities always present themselves to network and build new relationships in person, be it at conferences or just a run-in with a like-minded friend at the supermarket. Don’t miss an opportunity to leave your mark! Here’s what our special conference rate of $150 will get you – 500 uniquely designed business cards (1 round of edits) – Order now and we’ll have them at our booth, on hand, waiting for you to pick up just in time to spread the networking love at the conference! That’s right! Prep now and we’ll have them shipped and ready for you!
- Social Media/Small Business Consult – Do you feel stalled out in the social media arena? Overwhelmed? Need a helping hand streamlining your brand, online personality and rules of engagement? We can help! Sit down and chat with us about your business or blog and where you want to be down the road. We’ll help you develop some basic tips and tricks to your online engagement and make sure you’re playing on all the right fields! We’ll be offering a special BOGO to conference attendees. Buy 1 hour of consulting for $150 and get a second hour FREE! That’s two hours of consulting time for just $150. Woot!
Need all three???? And want to save a ton of moolah???? Yup, we’ve got ya covered! Jump on The Ultimate Business Blogger conference pack. A $340 value for only $250! You’ll get your professional head shots, official business cards AND a social media consult for only $250. That’s every skill we offer for less than we would charge a single client for a portrait session. It doesn’t get any better than this. Take the leap and make it official. You’re in the business of blogging!
Social Media Scheduling 101: The Basics
Why is social media scheduling important?
Today’s culture, both personally and professionally, is driven by real time transparency. There are any of a million ways that we can interact with the world and share our life journeys, which has been the doorway to maintaining friendships, keeping family from afar close and celebrating life with like-minded individuals. But on the other hand, every time that phone blips that a new message has popped up, we’re driven by madness to look. It’s exhausting!!!! And ultimately incredibly time consuming. As a small business owner, the drive to build a following can be intoxicating and the pressure to be available to your clients 24/7 is crippling. How do you actually “do” your business if you’re always distracted by social media? Social media scheduling is the very best way to continue to curate and share content with your audience, while allowing yourself to focus on higher priorities in your personal and professional life.
If I schedule social media am I lying to my followers by “pretending” to be online when I’m not?
Any way that you can automate your workflow to save time and develop a routine, you are being true to yourself, your clients and most importantly, your family. The key is to appear to be accessible during high traffic times, but not actually be sitting there glued to your phone or computer hanging on every word uttered to the social media gods. Social media scheduling allows us to cater to multiple audiences at their individual peek times, gives us the opportunity to stay active and engaged while on the go and makes sure we have time to focus on what really counts.
Where do I start?
I have two go-to programs that can work for even the most basic new learners (and have lots of advanced features for those in the know). And bonus…they’re FREE! What we’re moving towards is organized strategy. Social media scheduling allows you to develop a marketing strategy for your business and then execute it. You simple couldn’t do that properly on the fly and would get lost in the weeds. These next two tools can help put you on the path to a social media presence that translates to growth and long-term sustainability.
If you’re just digging into the social media behemoth, let’s put a simple tool to work for you while you get your bearings. Similar to how Instagram can cross post to Twitter and Facebook, Friends + Me can take your Google Plus posts and push them to several other platforms. I personally post to Google + and it carries over to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. One action = 4 social media networks.
I’ll admit, this tool can be visually tricky and take a little getting used to if you’re heavy handed with links and tags. Once you get comfortable with how your posts will appear in the different feeds, you’ll tailor your original content to work across the board. It’s a fantastic way to save time by not having to manually cross-pollinate your content to each and every platform individually. It’s a great way for new learners to “phone it in” while you up your social media knowledge and a stellar way for a seasoned social media vet to knock out a task list for simple content shares.
Hootsuite is the other tool I rely heavily on. In short, it’s a one-stop shop for me to manage all of my profiles on the various platforms that I use. In its most basic form, I schedule all Twitter activity (content sharing) in here or via their Hootlet (content curating). I can tell you it’s really the Hootlet that is life changing. This little plugin is ridiculously awesome. It allows me to wrap up items of interest in a nice little box with a beautiful little bow instantly and schedule directly from my point of interest. I can open it up from any source and schedule a tweet/share from any of my accounts instantaneously without having to copy/paste links or images into Hootsuite itself. That save of a few clicks is amazing!!!
– Google Plus (2 business profiles)
So. How does this ultimately save time? Have I just traded time spent manually posting for time spent scheduling automation? The key here is to carve out time and stick to it. Don’t be scheduling all day! It defeats the purpose. Here are some quick rules to keep in mind:
- Set a specific day each week (or even an hour each morning/night if that’s better for you) that is devoted to scheduling the next weeks’/days’ tweets/posts/etc. Make that a calendar time in your routine. Stick to it! I do all of my scheduling first thing in the morning. That way my social media profiles are working in the background while I am completing my normal business day and any activity can just be responsive.
- Commit to a time each evening that the phone/computer gets put away. For example, clients at The Studio now know that our business booking hours are Monday – Friday from 8AM – 5PM. If they email us during that time, they expect a response. But if they email outside of that time, they know they’ll hear from us during the next business day. We’ve educated them and we’re training ourselves. Now, when that email dings with a new inquiry, I don’t look at it if it’s after hours. They know, and I know it will be there tomorrow.
- Give yourself a break! Cut yourself some slack! It’s ok to take a break from time to time on social media. It’s ok to not post every meal, every night out, every stylish outfit. Let go of the pressure to perform. Focus on enjoying the interactions with people and sharing your heart. You’ll find it not only comes more naturally, but more purposefully. Be IN your life.
Pin this to your Small Business Tips & Tricks Board or your Blogging Resources Board! Don’t have one? Follow me!
Did you like this post? Check out How to Create Hyper-Linked Email Signatures in Gmail!
IBA Blog Conference – October 12-17, 2015
Mark your calendars!!! I have some very exciting news to share!!! The International Bloggers Association is hosting their very first IBA blog conference! The IBA Network-a-thon will be hosted online October 12th – 15th. Yup, that’s right! A virtual conference! You don’t have to worry about travel expenses, child care, vacation time or anything! Just you, me, the IBA, our computers and some amazingly awesome Google Plus Hangouts.
Want to hear the very best news? The IBA blog conference is SUPER affordable. Only $10 for your ticket! Even more exciting? Use the code KATY to receive a special Chaos & Kiddos discount! You’ll get $5 off. 50% off! At that price, there’s no reason to miss out on what will be a fun week of networking, learning and blog sharing. The IBA blog conference will be a great opportunity to discover your tribe of blog supporters, learn new tips and tricks, and dig into blogging professionally. Don’t miss out! $5 is less than a cup of Starbucks coffee! Woot! Click on the big IBA right below or click on “Buy this on Selz” to grab your 50% off discount ticket now! Don’t forget to use the code KATY! See you in October!
Twitter Tools to Increase Your Sanity
When it comes to Twitter, automation equals sanity. Simple as that!
We all know that every business must have a solid social media presence. However, scheduling, monitoring and reporting on your feeds eats up crucial time that can be can better used running your business. Have no fear, there are an endless number of Twitter tools available to help you manage your profiles; saving you precious time and money by working behind the scenes while you stay front and center in your marketplace.
Here are the strategic areas you want to concentrate on when engaging the Twittersphere:
Keep those tweets coming without having to sit at your computer day and night. Tools such as HootSuite and Buffer are extremely popular. With multi-feed capacity, flexible layouts and a host of powerful features, these two behemoths will revolutionize how you approach social media across every platform, not just Twitter.
Keep it organized!
If you have multiple accounts, Twitter tools can help organize and implement your strategy.TweetDeck handles this perfectly. Get more involved with Sprout Social that includes CRM features, or SocialOomph to automate and keep corporate accounts clean and tidy. Nobody wants to click back and forth between a million tabs, or spend way too much time signing in and out of several profiles. Organize yourself with a “one-stop shop” approach!
Show off with pictures!
Grab them with graphics to go with your hot content. No time to source images or develop images of your own offline? Check out MavSocial to link to stock images and manage your digital assets as you compose your tweets.
What did they say?
In order to build engagement, you have to know what others are saying about you. Mentioncan monitor your Twitter mentions and even links through to other tools like Buffer. Twitter tools that are integration-friendly are always a win-win. Trends24 tracks the ever important hashtag and hot topics. Never miss an opportunity to keep an open dialogue with your customer base moving forward.
Remember that campaign from 2013? You need to be able to go back and search on what worked and what didn’t. Topsy lets you search all the way back to 2006 while TweetChat helps you keep up with your favorite hashtags and chat with others. Avoid making the same mistakes twice and repurpose successful campaigns for future growth.
Ready, Set, Grow!
Each time someone shares your content, your reach grows. Make it as easy for them as possible with links using Click to Tweet. Everybody loves the easy button!
Being able to determine what works and what isn’t provides critical insight that translates to real growth and sustainability. SumAll and Twitonomy help break it down into specific actionable data that you can use to improve your reach in future campaigns.
There are plenty of options out there to help you manage Twitter and other social media platforms. It’s just a matter of finding the right one that works for you and letting them work for you. Which Twitter tools have been pivotal to maintaining your sanity and growing your business?