Posted on

ProPolish: Five Things Pros Do Right with Social Profiles

I just completed a big research project where I looked at hundreds of social media profiles. Want to know what I learned? Pros do five things right with social profiles:

  1. Pros fill out their entire profile and everything is in the right case. LinkedIn profiles almost double as a resume today. So make sure you list your current job title and everything is in the right case (meaning you know that your name is a proper noun and so is the place you work).
  2. Pro social profiles have a professional headshot. I was shocked at the number of people with 500+ connections who didn’t have a photo. I was also a little surprised at the number of “interesting” photos.Pro Tip: Get a professional photo taken every year or two to use in social media profiles.
  3. Pros have a headline that grabs attention and makes sense. Each social media network has its own “way” to present your “what you do” statement. LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to describe your experience and what you’re looking to do. Use this to your advantage.Walking the Walk: My LinkedIn profile headline is “Pro writer, editor, marketing consultant and founder of Pro Polish.” I’m a professional writer first and foremost, but I do A LOT of editing and marketing consulting. And I’m trying to promote my Pro Polish service. That tells you what I do and how I can help you. That’s the ultimate goal of every social media profile headline: what you do. Get this right!
  4. Pros link up their social profiles. One of the cool features of LinkedIn is the ability to link to your Twitter account. Not everyone is a Twitter master, but it’s nice to check it out. It’s a simple profile update that connects your online presence.
  5. Pros are always updating their social profiles. I don’t do it every week, but I do try to look at my LinkedIn profile at least every couple of weeks and make updates. This is my primary sales tool for my business, so it better be sharp and up-to-date. It also helps your searchability to share content and to add sections to your LinkedIn profile. The same is true for your Twitter bio. I use my Facebook and Instagram profiles for a different purpose than my professional writing and marketing business, but I update my bio all the time.Pro Tip: Sharing your “what you do” is effective and important. Don’t neglect this part of your professional life.

Need help with your professional social profiles? Check out my Pro Polish service where you can get a pro look at how you can improve your resume, LinkedIn profile and online presence – whether you’re looking for a job or to expand your sales.

Posted on

How to Pump a Little Health Into Your Content Marketing

pump a little health into your content marketing

Have you noticed how many people have been hitting the gym and making an attempt to delete the junk from their diets the past couple of weeks? It’s definitely a resolution revolution these first few weeks of January, which means it’s the perfect time to set some goals for pumping a little health into your content. Here are five ideas for how to do just that:

Put your content on a diet.

Someone sent me a list of the 25 most common typos and copy mistakes last week. One of those tips stuck out – look out for redundancies such as centered around. If you read that correctly, you’re saying the same thing twice. It’s actually centered on. But this is a great point. We need to trim the redundancies out of our copy. So, I challenge you to see how much you can trim your content.

As Peter Shankman said last week in his recap of his year to 10 percent, we should focus on eating meat and vegetables and leave out the carbs. Redundant words and overused jargon are just like the carbs; they may up the word count, but they do nothing for the health of your content. Simple sentence structure with simple words hits much harder.

Introduce quality supplements.

Content marketing is based on building an audience from people searching for solutions via the search engines. As you know, there’s also been a focus on quality with search algorithm changes and smarter content consumers.

It’s getting more crowded out there in the online marketing space (kind of like the gyms this time of year), so it’s important that we introduce some quality supplements to our every day link bait articles and blog posts.

Your audience is searching for you. Give them video. Give them a simple slideshow or infographic. Anything that tells the story in a new way and shakes things up. Supplements are meant to enhance what you are already doing. Make this the year that you introduce that e-book series or start that podcast.

Stop doing the same old routine.

I’ve heard this from numerous fitness trainers – getting on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes at a pace where you can read a book doesn’t do much for your long-term fitness. Sure, you’ll burn some calories, but your body adapts. It gets used to the exercise and you hit a plateau.

That’s why you have to change the intensity, track your heart rate and introduce new exercises all the time for real fitness. Same thing with your content. Doing the same thing over and over may get you some results for a while, but unless you get out of your comfort zone, your leads and traffic may get stagnant.

Add more daily movement.

A study released in the summer of 2011 showed that people who had more “incidental activity” in their lives had better fitness levels. The same goes for your content marketing. You’ll do better peppering a little content marketing activity each day.

Scheduling in some social media and blog brainstorming blocks can really help you improve on these daily habits. Similar to the rotation of how we clean our homes (laundry day, bathroom day, deep cleaning day, etc.), we can establish content marketing habits.Try focusing on one vehicle during each “incident.”

Finished with a project? Jump into a conversation on Twitter for 10 minutes? Ask a question on Facebook. Share that news item with some takeaways in a quick blog post. Content marketing doesn’t have to be a long, arduous workout. The mini sessions really do add up, especially if you fit them in every day.

Get a professional opinion.

Want to know the number one reason workout plans and diets fail? The goals are too broad. Most exercisers start out with a goal of losing 10 pounds or more. Most dieters drastically change their habits. This much change too soon can work well for a while, but every time you slip, it’s harder to get back with the program. If the program is complicated, it’s even more difficult to get back into it.

I’m not saying that you need to outsource your content marketing or dieting for the rest of your life. However, professionals are there to help you define your goals, create plans you can stick with and give you accountability. A professional opinion can be the difference in getting results and giving up.

I personally had to enlist the help of a professional for my fitness. I tried giving this mentor up last year in January because I could do it myself. Know what happened? I barely exercised between February and November of last year. I lost all the muscle my trainer helped me develop. I lost sight of my goals for excellence. I signed back up in November and have been with the program 90 percent of the time.

In my next post, I’ll outline what you need to look for in a content marketing professional. This person can help you pump a little health into your content marketing.

If you’d like a no-obligation consultation on your content marketing strategy and goals, please contact me and I’ll put you on my calendar.

Posted on

Why You Shouldn’t Post Your Email Content to Social Networks

click sendIf you’ve spent any time in MailChimp or Constant Contact or any of the other email programs, you have the option to post your newsletter or promotions to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Don’t click those check marks!

Why you may ask? It’s robbing you of an opportunity to offer exclusivity to your email list.

Let’s explore the mindset of a customer that opts in for your email newsletter and likes you on Facebook.

Ms. Customer signed up for your email newsletter to learn about new merchandise and to receive exclusive offers. What’s exclusive about an offer that you send out via email, post to Facebook, put on your blog and Tweet seven times in a day? Nothing.

Why should Ms. Customer stay on your email list? She’s not getting what you said you would give her – exclusive updates and discounts.

The reason for multiple channel marketing is to reach more people, but you’re doing it wrong if you’re just pressing send and blast. Each network has a specific audience with specific needs and wants. If you use that channel – whether it be email or Facebook or a community, you should always have the audience in mind.

Consider that next time you start that email newsletter. Don’t just post. Your audience is valuable and your content should be just as valuable. And it should fit the audience of the channels you decide to use.

Here’s a traditional advertising comparison – would the Lifetime network play commercials targeting young, single men? No! They are targeting women who like emotional stories.

Same thing goes for email. People are looking for news about your company in a newsletter or discounts in a promotional email. They aren’t looking for you to post the same thing to Facebook. Facebook users don’t want to see “SALE SALE SALE” in their newsfeed. They will unlike your page after too much of this.

The bottom line – consider the audience before you click send on any of your content.

Posted on

How Not to Connect on Twitter or LinkedIn

I received a mention on Twitter recently where a guy was recommending that I buy an e-book to get more Twitter followers. First of all, I’m not on Twitter to simply amass a huge following of people I don’t know. I’m on Twitter to help my clients communicate better with their industry or customers.

I tweet about stuff that’s going on with my company and my clients’ companies. I use Twitter to research topics for blog posts, to learn about what’s hot in an industry for email marketing and to give my clients ideas for engaging with their customers.

How to Connect on Twitter

So, here’s my advice for connecting with people on Twitter the right way:

  • Don’t throw out blatant @mentions. These mentions should be reserved for people you know, a kind remark (no product push) or a response for someone publicly calling for a solution, vendor or recommendation.
  • Find someone to introduce you. You know – someone you know who knows your target someone.
  • Follow them and see if they follow back. Then send a kind direct message to gauge interest in connecting further.

How Not to Connect on LinkedIn

Last week, another guy took advantage of social media to send me a bogus affiliate marketing website – complete with music and no explanation of what the product was. But, what’s worse is he asked to connect with me on LinkedIn. He said we were friends. I clicked his link to see if he was someone I’d worked with in a past job. Nope, we’ve never met. Think he made it to my connections list? No way, Jose.

The Right Way to Connect on LinkedIn

  • Connect with people through LinkedIn Groups. It’s a cool way to determine if you have something in common. And, a lot less creepy.
  • Find someone to introduce you. They even have a feature for this called “Get Introduced!” Love that tool!
  • Send an InMail. This gives your target introduction the ability to screen you and it gives you a chance to provide a professional introduction to what you do.
Twitter and LinkedIn are awesome networking tools if you use them correctly. They have certainly helped my business. What’s your favorite Twitter or LinkedIn use?