The Creation of Community

It’s easy to talk about the mechanics of marketing yourself online.  The “how to’s” in setting up profile pages, twitter accounts, fan pages and the like.  What is more difficult is explaining the how you should go about marketing yourself.  On one hand, the concept is simple, be yourself, share your knowledge and hang out.  Let people come to you.  Being aggressive in today’s market place will result in people recoiling away from you.  On the other, it’s such a different mind set from old “push” marketing principles, that few people really get it. It amazes me how many so called marketers do nothing but post links to content, theirs or other peoples, without revealing a single thing about who they are or why they are there.  What makes them think that this method would create a desire to do business with them?  When I look on my Facebook home page and see the same face over and over again with a series of links – no insights, no sharing – I get a knot in my stomach.  They just don’t get it.  However, I do not disconnect from them.  They serve as a reminder of what I do not want to become.  I always encourage clients to be proud of who they are, what they do and why they do it.  The reality is that their “who” is not going to resonate with every person they come across.  What most have a hard time understanding is:  THAT’S GREAT!  I would rather have a handful of people that are truly interested in me and my work then a throng of thousands who simply tolerate me.  That handful of people will be the ones who engage [...]

Congratulations to the Capital Region Coffee News

HUGE congratulations to Rebecca DuBios owner of the Capital Region Coffee News for receiving recognition as the most improved franchise out of the 1,100 franchises world wide. Rebecca's hard work and dedication (and laser like focus) has earned her this esteemed honor.   Becs (as I like to call her) also does something else extraordinarily well - she builds relationships.  I have the pleasure of having Rebecca not only as a client, but I also serve with her on the Membership Committee of the Malta Business and Professional Association.   Through her facebook fan page, Rebecca shares news, runs contests and constantly works to engage those in her community.  Rebecca also assists (read promotes) several area not-for-profits and local business organizations.  She utilizes her fabulous networking skills to both the benefit of her customers and the community around her. Again - Congratulations Rebecca - it is truly deserved!

This is why we are Entrepreneurs!

Great viral marketing ad... but an outstanding message just the same.   This video originally crossed my path on Twitter but I was reminded of it from The Next Web... thank you :)

How to Create a Custom Facebook Fan Page

You've seen one fan page, you've seen them all - right?  Wrong. Facebook Fan pages can be customized to give your fans (and not yet fans) an experience that is unique to your business and style. First step is to give fans and not yet fans two seperate landing pages on your Fan Page.   Go to your page, click on settings (just under the "What's on your mind?" box) Set your default view to "Posts by Page and Fans" - this lets people see who you are conversing with. Then select a page that will be informative for your "Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else:" drop down.  I used the "Static FBML" application to create a Welcome Page for people who are not yet fans and direct newcomers to this page.  I ask them to join in the conversation by becoming a fan.  Soon - I will be using the same application for Fan Only offerings.   I also use the Events app to announce seminars and trainings, the video application to show recorded seminars, the photo application for the portfolio, and the Discussion Board to encourage conversation.  I also use the Profile HTML for my Opt in List (see How to use Profile HTML). Facebook offers the opportunity to customize your visitors experience - take advantage of that by branding yourself and encouraging new people to join in on the fun! What applications have you found useful on your fan page?   Related articles by Zemanta Facebook Pages Get More Business Friendly ( Facebook Apps Get Custom Tags for Copy-Paste Feature Building ( Facebook Extends FBML with Custom Tags, Enabling a New Class of FBML Widgets (

A Social Media Experiment – Your Thoughts?

A Social Media Experiment. On all of the social media sites I can be found on I have a photo of me.  It is my “avatar”, my face, my “brand”.  I will tweak them once in a while, make a change, update it usually with little or no reaction - as they are essentially the same.  Me, usually from the shoulders up, an outfit, typically red or blue (need to add my purple :) ) smiling nicely.  They photos convey my professionalism, hopefully my confidence in what I do, a sense of approachability, and make me recognizable.  All the things I wish to be perceived as. Then one day, I decided I’d like to change it up a little.  I broke the golden rule – Never, ever mess with your brand.   I took an old avatar and put it up on Facebook.  The cartoon is representative of an old idea I had, something out of my ordinary marketing message and a little rough around the edges.  She is a “persona” of me, in somewhat questionable attire – but one that conveys the concept of “Web Mistress” in a very tongue in cheek sort of way.  I did this as I am considering an “off-shoot” brand and wanted to see what would happen. Then I sat back and watched.  It was interesting for me to see who continued to interact with me and who did not.  Trust me, I took note.  I expected the comments from people who know me personally and “in real life” to be positive, I was not disappointed.  Those who truly know me are more then aware of how off-center I can be.  But I was intrigued by those who did not engage [...]

Facebook Fan Pages News Feed

Did you know that at the bottom of the page of your newsfeed (Home Page) was this: Click on "See Hidden Friends" - these friends are the fan pages you are a fan of.  Once you click on the link a window will pop up allowing you to select which pages' updates will show in your newsfeed.  Select the ones you want to keep track of and then click close. More importantly notify your fans so that your business page's newsfeed appears on their home page newsfeed.  That is the best way for them to get value out of the information you provide to them on a regular basis and it keeps your name in front of them everytime you update your page. What value to you give your Facebook fans? Have a Facebook tip to share?  Have a Facebook question?  Leave it in the comments below. If you find this content of value - please subscribe to the blog.

7 Non-negotiable Social Networking Rules

1)  Profiles are Personal - Facebook, LinkedIn, etc... profiles are about you.  Use a picture of yourself, talk about yourself, whether it's related to work or it's social.  Your logo is not you - your business is not you.  You may be there to network and promote your business, but people want to do business with people. Image by elycefeliz via Flickr 2)  Stop selling me- Don't talk about how good your "widget" is.  Don't pitch me or tell me that your service can gross me $10,000 a month.  Talk to me, share with me, teach me and I'll listen.  If I like what you have to share, I will come to you for the sale. 3)  I don't NEED your product/service - I need air to breath, food & water to sustain myself, and people to love and love me back, that's about it.  I'll decide if I WANT your product or service based on the value of the conversation we have. 4)  Truth and Transparency - be honest in your opinions and insights.  Own them - show me the real you and you will win my respect and earn my trust even if I do not agree with you. 5)  Move out of "Spam-a-lot" - If I haven't said yes yet, you can stop emailing me, really.  I'll ask you to stop sending me stuff once, if you don't listen - I will remove you as a connection. 6)  The Opt-In is Mine:  Did I opt into your mailing list or did you add me on your own?  If I didn't opt in, there was a reason, do not ever make that decision for me. 7)  Strive to make Connections not Sales:  You and I [...]

The NEW Facebook Fan Page

The first thing you need to know about the new Facebook Fan Pages is that they are open to the public.  People no longer need to be a member of Facebook to be able to see your business / organization's fan page.  This, in my opinion, is a fabulous upgrade.  If you do not have a web site, or have a static web site, the Facebook Fan page now offers you the opportunity to create a dynamic space on the web. Image via CrunchBase Notice how much fan pages now look like personal profile pages.  The tabs, a wall, an info tab and the ability to add other tabs at your discretion (four more tabs will be visible).  The Wall Tab, Info Tab and remaining tabs all have their own unique URL, which allows you to promote a section at a time.  If you are holding an event and post it on your Facebook Fan Page, you can send people to that link if you do not have a calendar on your own site. The Stream Tab contains only information that the you (the administrator) has posted.  The Wall tab is a time line of activity from the administrator and fans.  The info tab gives you the ability to add detail.  Be a little creative here, expand on your "why" for doing business.  Give your fans and visitors greater insight into who you are and why you do what you do. If you upload photos (hey why not) you can now tag them.  This gives you the ability to "touch" your fans like you've not had before.  Personalize the experience for them as much as possible by adding your fans names to any photos you post.   [...]

Get Yourself a Facebook Badge

Many of my seminar participants wonder how to "advertise" their Facebook profile.  Luckily Facebook makes it very easy to spread the word about your profile and business page. Log into Facebook and go to  The default badge is your profile picture and your name.   For email signatures, I prefer the signature badge.  It has your photo, name and various contact information.  The photo badge is entertaining, but unless you have "business related" photographs in your albums, I'd steer clear of it.  Check out some of the options - play with it and add it to your email signature, your blog, your web site and anyplace else that feels right.  Give people the opportunity to connect with you in many ways to build your relationship with them  

Marketing across the Generations

My father loves telling stories about when he was a kid.  The whole family would gather in the living room and listen to the radio.  Back then (he was born in 1927) radio wasn’t about music, it was about stories.  Everyone in the room would be silent during the radio show listening to a story which ended in a cliff hanger and continued the following week. When movie theatres were becoming popular, they used the same tactic as radio.  Movies were the equivalent to our television series.  They ended in a cliff hanger so the viewers would return the following week, fork up a quarter and see how Image by mugley via Flickr the story turned out.   Then movies matured.  They became a single story that began, was told in detail and ended all in the same 2 hour time frame (leaving room for sequels of course).  The point is, my father’s generation grew up listening.  To this day, my father hears everything.  Not just what is being said directly to him, but what is not being said as well.  He is excellent at reading between the lines, absorbing information, and hearing (now with hearing aides) and is very sensitive to background noise. My generation and the ones after it have grown up with a lot of noise.  We have learned to tune out much of it.  We have grown up in an era where so much information is being thrown at us at such a high speed we can not assimilate all of it in one shot.  For us to hear the message we have to listen to it more then once.  As a result, repetition has become a cornerstone in advertising and public [...]

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