What I learnt from hiring a coach

At the start of 2017 I knew there were a number of things I ‘had to do’. One of them was to go on a business retreat and get some focus and direction on my business. So I did. I took myself to Sydney for 3 days and I retreated. At the end, the organiser mentioned their coaching program. I didn’t have the money for group coaching, but I knew that I had to have it. I had invested time in my business and I wanted to get things going. So I signed up, this is what I got…

So each fortnight I jump on a group call with my coach, and 3 other women, we listen to the coach’s wisdom and we support & solve the issues we each have faced and plan for the coming week. But that’s what we do, you want to know what I got out of it.

The big one…

I doubled my income the month I decided to start working with my coach. Remember how I said that I didn’t have the money when I made the decision. Well it appeared, and then some! And it kept coming. I’ve gained and lost clients but I haven’t lost income. It keeps coming. I learnt that if I made a commitment to my business, then I would be provided for.

I was held accountable

I do this with my clients but I’m not good with myself. Well guess what, when you’re paying someone and every 2 weeks you have to front them and tell them what you’ve been up to and why you didn’t achieve that really important thing from last week… you better have a really good reason behind it.

I was called on my BS

Now I need this. And it was done with all love and care. But the first few sessions I went into them unprepared. I didn’t know what I wanted help with for the coming fortnight and I rattled off a grocery list, and then some, of my achievements. But I actually wasn’t progressing with my business. I was called out! I then realised that if I was to make the most of the investment, as I had intended, I needed to get real and get honest. You know what happened? The next session I cracked, I cried, I exposed my fears to the group, and from there I grew.  At the end of our sessions for the year, I was thanked for opening up a space where we could be honest and vulnerable. I had lead the way.

I got my shit together

I used to think I had time under control. I was kidding, and let’s face it I still have work to do. My coach told me that ‘my brain isn’t a filing cabinet’ and that I needed to work out a better way to organise my time than my ever growing job list. It was true. Things were slipping by and I was missing client tasks. It wasn’t good. So I found my weekly planner pad and I used the jar/rocks/pebble/sand/water philosophy for my time. Guess what? I had more time than before! I could achieve more.

I could help my clients more

My coach gave us carte blanche to use what we learnt in the sessions with our clients. So I did. What it meant was that I had clients who were able to grow their businesses and secure their family’s financial freedom within a short period of time. Clients went from juggling debt on credit cards and debtors to having all the bills paid, closing off credit card accounts, and having money in the bank.

I learnt about me

I learnt that it was ok to have a niche where no one else was, that was emerging, that being different was ok. Seems odd, but I was always looking to fit into the industry but I wanted to do it differently. I was confounded. That day I was in tears, I learnt that I really only needed 2-3 people who I knew were in the trenches with me and had my back no matter what. I used that, I drew on that. When I went to the US, I discovered just how different I was but how I wasn’t actually alone. There were 3 of us I found, amongst the 21000 people there, who spoke the same language (1 was a keynote & 1 I met in the audience). The more people I spoke to, the more I realised that not only was it ok to be different – I was actually of interest to others in my industry and that being different was my strength.

Good things come

I learnt that with time and space, what I need will come.  I ‘needed’ to move to more coaching and less managing. I was scared. I liked the security of the consistent income. I learnt that I didn’t have to give that away to move to where I was drawn. I could do it incrementally, but I had to let go of it. I had to show up the way I wanted to be seen and offer myself as that. So that is where I’m headed. It has only been since October that I have decided, it’s slow, but the shift is happening. I have been tested by the draw back, but I’m serious in pursuing this passion and I seriously adore what I get out of coaching. So good things are here and more is to come.

Did I expect this outcome? Well I hoped for it. I know that I had seen it in my own clients, but that was ‘different’ in my eyes. I had hoped for the accountability, I had dreamed about the income growth, it was the personal growth that came in 6 short months which has me excited. I’m excited for the year to come, I’m excited for my clients, and I’m excited for me.

Outsourcing and goals

Do you have a Procrastination Pixie? What about a Nearly Done Nymph? Or a Get To It Gnome? In my Facebook Group we’ve been discussing outsourcing and I thought I chat a little more about it over here on the blog.

So what is outsourcing? It can be anything from getting a book-keeper or VA or social media manager to run a business function for you, through to getting someone to do some one off task.

Most business owners think that outsourcing is an all or nothing affair and that it’s going to be costly. Outsourcing is only expensive if you don’t use the time you gain to generate income - then it costs you money!

I’m a late comer to outsourcing, even when I worked a 9-5 desk job I didn’t outsource, not even a cleaner. The change came when I realised I would get 80-90% of the work done and I wouldn’t do the last bit to get it out there.

I sat and thought on it for a while. I couldn’t work out what it was. I wasn’t afraid of putting myself out there. I did know that I had a thing where if I was learning a new ‘thing’ that once I realised I knew enough, I would leave it. That was my issue, I was a ‘near enough is good enough’ but that issue included the execution. So I outsourced the execution of things. The big block was my website.

I’ve been building & maintaining websites since 2000. It’s something I know how to do but don’t always enjoy it, I’d rather be coaching in all honesty. So when I realised that making some small changes to my site was taking hours when it should be taking minutes, thanks Procrastination Pixie, I outsourced.

When I decided that I needed to develop a waitlist page for my Organic Facebook Course and that the Nearly Done Nymph would likely halt me pressing publish on the page, I outsourced the whole damn page.

What I discovered was that while I can build my own website, I don’t always love it and I drag my heels on it. It’s a necessary evil for my business but my Pixies & Nymphs often hold me back from achieving my goal. That had to stop! I need my site to help run my business. The outsourcing didn’t stop there, there was the Grand-Daddy of all outsources!

The biggest outsource I’ve committed to is accountability. I’ve hired a business coach and I have to report in every 2 weeks against my goals for the fortnight. And believe me I get called on my BS if I don’t. So outsourcing this has kept my Get To It Gnome at bay. Boy have I stepped up too! In fact, from the month I decided to start with my coach, my income sky rocketed, I exceeded my financial goal for the 16/17 financial year and I’m set to exceed my goal for the 17/18 financial year. This happened because I outsourced my accountability and I’m being held to a higher standard.

Here’s the other reason why I’m writing about outsourcing now. I’ve been talking about goal setting for 2018 in my group and I have been chatting about not just setting the goal itself but ensuring that you work out the steps you need to do to get there. There’s one thing saying your goal is to have a 7-figure business, but it’s another thing to know what steps you have to take to get those 7-figures. It’s taking a pie-in-the-sky goal and turning it into a realistic and achievable milestone.

So how does outsourcing fit in achieving your goals?

Outsourcing tasks does a number of things.

For me it gives me space to do the things I prefer to do but doesn’t stop me from achieving what I want to achieve.
It doubles my time because the time from the task I outsource is then given back to me to work on other things, thanks Procrastination Pixie.
It makes me work harder on achieving the goal because I have to generate the money to pay for the tasks I outsource.

I openly admit that the control freak in me had trust issues to outsource. Perhaps it was the Pixie, the Nymph, and the Gnome hoping for one last ditch attempt to derail me. Little did they realise that I’m dogged in achieving my goals and I worked out how to get the better of them.

If you’d like to learn how I set my goals, I’ve reopened access to my goal setting work. It’s now available for immediate download and is a workbook and 30 minute training video. You can access it now over HERE.

Hints for responding to a Facebook Group Post

I’m in a number of Facebook Groups & I’m in there solely to bring in new business. (Look, I’m a Facebook & Business coach, where else would I hang out??) Yes they work, I’ve generated thousands in income over the past years of active use.

Over this time I’ve seen good responses to Recommendation Requests and I’ve seen some doozies and I’ve even been on the receiving end of them. It has become clear that some people are still unsure as to how to make the most use of these posts, so I’m here to help.  Here are some hints if you’re going to follow suit and use Facebook Groups to increase your customers.

Read the post CAREFULLY

The number of times I have seen people comment when they’re asked to email or message. Asked for clarification on things that were mentioned in the post. Or that when told that they do NOT want a particular thing, still try and recommend it.

There really is no excuse for not reading the post. I find it annoying and downright rude, with one exception… If you are going to recommend something I’ve mentioned NOT to recommend, you better have a compelling reason.

Not reading the post wastes your time as much as it wastes the poster’s time. What’s worse is that not only does the poster think you don’t follow simple instructions, there’s a fair chance other people reading the post will think the same. It’s not a good look!

Don’t dump and run

Do not drop a link and then leave. Not even on those posts where you leave a link to your page etc and like other people’s.

Other than some pleasantries, let us know why we should like your page, what we would get out of it, what you’re passionate about, or if you have a special offer. Personalise the link.

Here’s the benefit of that, you educate us on your brand & better still, you stand out from all the other businesses that have ‘dumped and ran’.

 

 

Ask to take it offline

Do not assume that you can message the person. Ask if you can send them a message with some additional information. There are a number of benefits to this:
- it removes competitors coming in and intervening in the conversation
- you can develop a better rapport
- it respects the original poster, especially if you’re chatting with someone who has a similar issue
- it creates intrigue and you’re likely to have other people asking you to message them.

Tips for responding in Facebook Groups

Develop a set of standard responses. There is a good chance that you will come across the same issue more than once. Use it as a template & refine the responses based on the comments in the tread.

Use a calendar. Have a calendar listing of the business/promotional days for groups and post on those days. When you have a history of being seen as being helpful, more people will pay attention to everything you say.

Be helpful without expectation. Don’t expect financial reward from helping in groups. Know that people will watch you and they will search you out and hire you, even if you have never helped them directly. (There are always group stalkers)

 

Facebook Groups are incredible resources and should be treated as such.  You will get out more than what you put in, if done the right way.

3 tips before running a Facebook Ad

I’ve seen a number of posts in Facebook Groups by business owners needing help with their Facebook Ads.

There is a lot of information out there about which buttons to click and how to run the ad, but they miss the things businesses need to have set straight before they even open up the Ads platform.

What is the aim of your ad?

It seems strange to even have to write this, but a number of business owners run ads – because they want more business.

Ok so what does more business look like? Is it more bookings right now, is it more likes, is it getting people on your list to market to in the future?

Having a clear intention for the ad will help you decide what type of ad to run, where to run it to, what language to use, and what image to use.

Have this set and you’re off to a good start.

Who is the ad for?

Who is the target for the ad? What will they get out of the ad? What do they need to do? What problem do you solve for them?

Too often, businesses get caught up in running the ad to grow their business that they overlook that they need to attract a person to fulfil the aim of the ad (like, enter a competition, attend an event, buy a product).

The things you need to consider are:
- what is their gender
- how old are they
- what kind of things do they do
- what problem are you solving
- how will they feel after it’s solved.

You need to answer each of these things and address them in the image and text of the ad. There’s  not much point putting up a photo of a Mum & child if you’re trying to reach a single 20-year old male. The audience needs to be able to identify with the person or scene of the picture and with the problem and feelings the solution gives. While the physical targeting of the ad helps, it’s the image and/or the text which will stop them scrolling and have them clicking.

Speaking of clicking, the more you make them do and the further you remove them from Facebook, the more people you will use. This is why the vast majority of my client ads are to Facebook Messenger. We are comfortable with Messenger and it keeps us within the Facebook App. If you redirect someone to a website, then you need to make sure that your website continues to build on the points above and makes it clear, right up front, what they have to do.

When you decide what they have to do. TELL THEM. While it might be glaringly obvious to you, we are busy and generally distracted as we scroll through Facebook, so making it clear that they need to ‘click here to download’, ‘message us to book’ means that you’re more likely to get someone doing them what you tell them to do, rather than them wondering what the point of the whole thing is. Yes you have to spell it out like they’re 5. (but don’t be condescending).

So you know why you’re running the ad & who it’s for, why they want it and how to get it… now what?

The secret to targeting a Facebook Ad.

I have heard and read so many people wasting so much money on split testing age & gender on an ad when they don’t need to.

You know you’re target audience? No? Here’s a tip then on who is likely to want your product… head over to this tab on your Facebook Page.

Your Facebook Page insights tells you the people who are attracted to your page. Providing you haven’t bought likes and your page isn’t just full of sympathy likes from friends and family, it will tell you who is likely to want your stuff.

So this picture is taken from my page and if I’m running an ad, I target women aged 30-50. Most of my fans are female and most sit in this age range. Your business is no different and has these statistics. So use them. So you know, I’ve run ads to men & women in that age range & it’s still women who respond. Oddly enough, I have a number of male business owners that I work with. I just don’t attract them as clients through my ads.

Now, you can go deeper into targeting your ads, but this one tip saves you a lot of time in testing your ad. Use it as a starting point and start with fewer test groups, if you still want to split test, but you’ll be ahead from the get go.

Theirs is a lot to understanding the person you’re targeting with Facebook Ads. The great thing is that once you learn it, you can apply it to your page too. For more information, head over and download my ebook of tips to running a Facebook Page.

Time poor Facebook Page!

The vast majority of Facebook Page owners say that the number one reason they don’t post on their page is: they don’t have time. Let’s face it, that’s not a massive surprise as we a generally time poor. The thing is, at the same time I’m being told that you’re time poor, you’re also telling me that you know that your customers are on Facebook & that your products/services sell there. What to do?

More time for Facebook?

I would love to say that I can magically add hours to your day. Thing is, even if I could would you really use them for putting content on your Facebook Page?

I’ve spoken previously about the mindset shift I made about time & how I have benefited from it. I’ve also mentioned in a number of places that I have recently started using a weekly planner and again reaped the rewards.

So while I haven’t actually added hours to my day, I’m making better use of my time.

Oh and I forgot to say that one of the benefits of these two things has been actually working fewer hours. Yes, I’m one of those people who have increased their client base while working fewer hours. It’s ok, I’m not living the laptop lifestyle of a multi-millionaire and I won’t sell you my $19 book on how to do it. (Hats off to you if you are/do, keep it up!)

But back to getting more time for Facebook…

There are two parts to this problem:

Not having time to post on Facebook when you want to
Not having the time to think about what to post on Facebook

These are two separate issues and generally we think that time is the root cause.

It’s not! The thing is that you know that it works when you do it, you just need to find a different way. A better way!

Not having time to post on Facebook when you want to.

Ok, so I admit that I used to do a lot of my social media scheduling late at night after the family went to bed. It wasn’t good & I was exhausted. In fact, I was wiped by the time I got to the weekend. So burning the candle at both ends is not an option.

You now know about my mindset work and the weekly planner, so you can give that a go. It’s funny once we become more accountable of and for our time, the more we respect it and are more mindful we are with its use. It’s the same way as when we are watching our pennies.

What else is there?

I actually encourage people to make a date in their diary for scheduling social media. It has to be non-negotiable. Promoting what you do is part of what you do. You are the best source of information out there about your product or service & that makes you best placed to promote it. It has to become a habit, just like brushing your teeth and over time it will become second nature.

Mine is a whole day of working on my business rather than in it. (Except invoicing, that’s daily) You don’t have to dedicate a whole day, most businesses will get it done in an hour or two. (With these tips)

Use the Facebook Scheduling Tools available

If you are always doing your social media on the hop, you will always feel as though you are caught on the hop. Scheduling social media during these set times has a number of benefits:

  • You know that you will be putting something out there
  • You will be regularly showing up
  • You will be able to develop a social media campaign or strategy for growth

Ad-hoc posting is the enemy of organised Facebook strategy. It’s hard to be strategic when you have to have something delivered “right now or else”.

The best way to schedule posts on Facebook is using their scheduler. They like to keep stuff in house and do give you preference in the Facebook Algorithm for it. (Sad but true, sometimes you just have to play their games).

You can choose to use one of the many social media scheduling tools on the market. The advantage these have over the Facebook Scheduler is: ability to post the same thing to multiple profiles from one spot, RSS feeds, automated rescheduling of posts…

It’s going to be a personal choice which way you go. Some of the scheduling tools are free & others aren’t. Regardless, the Facebook scheduler gives the best results as you can leverage any shared content from within Facebook, thanks Algorithm, or a third-party scheduler has some additional benefits for your content that you might prefer.

Not having time to think about the content to post to Facebook

Each quarter I have an aim/goal for the coming months. I ensure that the work that I do aligns with these goals.

For example, I ran a Facebook Live Challenge and in the lead up to that, I wrote and promoted content around video & live streaming as well as Facebook. A consistent message helps reinforce your message and assists in establishing your position as a leader on the topic.

Speaking of Facebook, I save A LOT of articles. There are a number of pages that I like which are relevant to my audience, so if I see a post I think my audience will like it then I save them.

Watch this video on how I repurpose them.

When I get stuck, I use my scheduling tool (Buffer) and the RSS feed I’ve set up with relevant websites. I will periodically go through that and schedule relevant content from there.  The issue with this is unless you have an RSS for your site, you will be promoting other sites.  Not a bad thing to mix it up but worth considering.

Some scheduling software integrate with content finding software. For example, Buffer can import posts (automatically) from Quuu and Upflow where I’ve told them a list of suitable topics and they find them and post them for me through my Buffer schedule.

I admit, I syndicate a lot of my posts. What do I mean? I will post on Instagram and it will go from there to Facebook, everything I post on Facebook goes to Twitter. I do this through Zaps in Zapier. It’s cloud-based software that you tell to repost from one profile to another. Another similar service is IFTTT. Using these services means that I get ‘many birds with one stone’. That saves me A LOT of time.

The other tool I use is Missinglettr. This is what is called splintering software. What it does is take little snippets of my blog posts, turns them into quotes & images, & shares these over a 12 month period. Each blog post is split into 9 posts, I get to review all of the posts, make any changes, and then approve them for publication over the next 12 months. It is very set and forget and I love that.

So how do you get time to post on Facebook?

Be accountable for your time. Treat it like the precious resource it is. It is finite remember!

Make the most of your time. If I have a few minutes, I will scroll through my Facebook Feed and save posts to share later, or I will share posts as I see them. I also have my scheduler app on my phone, so I can schedule posts while I do school pick up, waiting at sport, or any random 5 spare minutes.

Schedule your time. Make the use of schedulers, Facebook or otherwise. These tools will save you time as you can schedule a bulk load of posts in one sitting. (Chunking like work is a known time saver) That means that you no longer have that constant harping feeling of WHAT DO I POST TODAY???

Be consistent. Be consistent in centring your content around a goal. Be consistent with your posting to maximise the Facebook Algorithm. Be consistent in dedicating some regular time to finding and scheduling your content.

Write engaging content customers want to respond to

“Kara! How do I get more likes comments or shares on my Facebook?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions I receive. Essentially, how do I increase Facebook engagement? Most people ask about Facebook engagement because that’s where they hang out. On occasion I’m asked about Instagram engagement and that’s generally the same answer. (And it’s not, I don’t know)

My usual response to wanting increased engagement is the following:

People want to be educated, entertained, or inspired. Do that and ask for the engagement.

Sadly, most businesses are still in the ‘buy my shit’, ‘we are so great’, ‘share and win’ mentality. Now, I maintain that part of that is not knowing any different and part of it is old school marketing in new school technology. The thing is that some business owners are looking for more information on how to improve and they are following, reading, and studying – which is great – but it generally leads to more of the same.

So what have I done differently about engaging social media content?

Anyone who knows me well will know I’ve looked at some research. That’s my thing. I want to know the why behind things. And of course, it’s some psychological research because – PEOPLE.

I will keep coming back to that point again and again.

Social media is a tool to PEOPLE use to connect.

Sadly, I feel businesses are lost in the technology and have lost sight of the people actually using the technology.

So let’s start with the people and how they see brand content

The information in this article is taken from research by Ashley & Tuten (2015) and their analysis of previous research and study of the top 100 branded companies according to Interbrand’s Best Global Brand survey.

The research looked at why consumers use social media. By and large, we use social media to build ‘social capital’, feel better, and communicate to meet our need to be sociable.  The team go on to say that our need to communicate falls into 3 categories: around a topic, around a relationship, and around ourselves. Studies have shown that on Facebook, consumers use Facebook to ‘consciously portray images about themselves’.

The other thing that they discovered was that when a ‘consumer’s knowledge about a brand increases (through social media) so does the emotional attachment to the brand’ and this is regardless to the type of content a brand posts on social media.

However, they mention that engagement is dependent on the consumer’s needs, motives & goals. Their engagement is important as consumers are not on social media just to absorb information, they’re also there to be educated, entertained, or inspired. Unfortunately, brands suffer if the consumer believes that the relationship is one-sided or if it does something that does not match how the consumer sees them and the brand’s identity.

What makes good engaging content?

Consumers can engage with content which falls into one of five categories: values, resources, time/geography, impact, and their goal for engagement (what they want out of a brand). Most of the time, content delivered by brands is ‘form’ or what the service or product is.

Researchers found that consumer values driven content works best for emotionally driven purchases  and for consumers who do not, currently, have a strong relationship with the brand. This content could also be considered as image-driven, where brands meet the desired image of their consumers. This matches where I say that customers use social media to be inspired and relies on a deep understanding of customer values.

This emotional content was also found to be more likely to give an emotional reaction. In Facebook, that would mean that this content would be more likely to receive a Reaction (like, laugh, heart etc) rather than a comment or a share.

On the other end, researchers have found that ‘cognitive engagement’ and ‘functional’ posts, the responses which take a bit more thinking, are related to logical or problem-focused situations and will have a greater impact on consumers who have a closer and more interactive relationship with a brand.

It was interesting to read that consumers were more tolerant of advertising that appeared in games online than they were to ads which appeared on social media. For businesses using the Facebook Ads platform, my suggestion is to include ‘Audience Network’ when setting the placement for the ad.

When looking at the research around Facebook, researchers found that there were only 3 post types which truly drove engagement: image, exclusivity, and incentive. Based on the information above, it means that businesses need to have more posts that align with the values and image the consumer wants to portray on Facebook, that they value exclusivity and they want to receive some incentive to engage on Facebook. The researchers point out that this matches the overall culture of Facebook with our sanitised profiles, desire to have something someone else doesn’t/be the first, and ‘share to win’. A word of warning, remember that it needs balance and that consumers are put off if they feel the relationship is one sided; for example you will lose them if all you post is ‘share to win’, not to mention that you’ll attract people who want freebies.

As stated earlier, researchers found that the functional posts are the most common on social media. They found that these were also the least effective and had no impact on a brand’s social media performance. The most effective posts for engagement were ‘entertainment’ style content.

What does it mean for businesses wanting engaging content?

What this research boils down to is:

Of the three reasons I’ve identified for consumer social media use, entertainment and then inspiration are the most effective post types to drive engagement. Informative posts receive the least engagement.

When developing the inspirational (image driven) posts, businesses need to address and align themselves with their consumer’s values to ensure engagement.

I would add a third point, specific to Facebook, when looking to increase your engagement on Facebook businesses need to consider and leverage the Facebook Algorithm as this is what drives what content  a consumer actually sees in their Newsfeed and then use the above-mentioned content tips to write the engaging content.

Click on the image below to download my checklist for engaged Facebook Posts.

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Facebook Explore and the Facebook Algorithm

There is a buzz around Facebook Groups about the roll out of the Facebook Explore feature and how it will kill organic reach in the Facebook Algorithm. If you haven't heard what the buzz is all about you can read Facebook's overview here.

What is Facebook Explore?

The thing is that Facebook Explore, at time of writing, is actually two separate things!

The one that people are all up in arms about is that Facebook Explore will take page posts and put it in a separate feed to friends and family posts. This is just a TEST! It is a test in a set of 6 developing countries and is NOT guaranteed to be rolled out.

How do I know this? Well other than the fact that Facebook say it, I've experienced something similar.

Huh?

I am a Facebook Beta Tester, that means that I will generally have a different version (a test version) to the general Facebook User. In fact, at the start of 2016 I tested a categorised news feed where personal posts and pages were separated.

This is what I saw when I went to post on my personal profile. The ability to categorise my posts. The posts then appeared in tabs that were located across the bottom of the screen (unfortunately I don't have a screenshot of this). Here's the thing, there was still a Newsfeed and these categorised tabs also included posts from relevant Pages that I hadn't liked.

Now as a Beta Tester, I am encouraged to provide feedback and I told Facebook that although I didn't like the Categorised tabs, I did like having new (and relevant) Pages shown to me. So you can sort of blame me if you like.

What does this mean for the Facebook Explore rollout?

Facebook have said that you will still have your normal Newsfeed of friends, groups, and pages - all mixed in together. You will ALSO have a tab where you will see the posts of relevant pages the Algorithm believes you would like to 'Like'.

Quote taken from Facebook's announcement 23/10/17

That's it, no segregation of page and friend. Just an opportunity to add to those pages we like (as if we need that help).

What does Facebook Explore mean for the Facebook Algorithm?

Yes, they need to change the Algorithm. No, no one but Facebook truly knows what's in it. They have to change the Algorithm purely to populate the Explore tab. It's that simple. There's no one person or team of people in Facebook physically moving Pages into your Explore tab and another for me. It's controlled by AN algorithm.

Does Facebook Explore mean the death of Organic Facebook Page Reach?

Honestly no one can say, other than Facebook. Here's my take on it as a specialist on Organic Facebook.

Boring posts and pages kill organic Facebook Reach. 

The Facebook Algorithm, as broadly understood by the community is a function of how many people like, comment or share a post, how often you do it, how often your friends do it, and how close you are to your friends. (In the main)

So what is at the core of the Algorithm? People's reaction to the content YOU publish. So if your content is not relevant to them, doesn't engage them, then they are not going to react to it and so it will not trigger the Facebook Algorithm. It's not the Algorithm hiding your content, it's your inability to engage your audience.

I know that sounds harsh, but when you think critically about how we understand the Algorithm and what drives it, you come to this conclusion that it's a human reaction to what they see.

So how do you achieve good Organic Reach and be seen on Facebook Explore?

At the core, you need to understand your target audience and you need to explain to them, up front, how you solve their problems and how you can relate to them. We are, at our core, hard-wired for these connections and to solve problems.

This is where I bring in my qualifications in Psychology, over a decade of developing user-centric online content, and seven years of successful Facebook Page ownership and management.

I always bring it back to understanding your target audience and targeting them.

If you'd like to learn my secrets, sign up for the waitlist for my Organic Facebook Course and have the knowledge which saw me ride out all Algorithm changes.

What this comes down to is businesses knowing that they need to be on Facebook but forgetting that it's merely the medium, they are the ones who have to deliver the content which drives a Facebook user to action.

 

My favourite video tools for small business

Ever seen those viral videos on Facebook and thought, “I wonder how I’d record myself?” I have to be honest, my original videos were done with a digital camcorder. While not in a professional studio, I promise there is an easier way.

Here are the video recording tools I use

Facebook Live - Live streaming video

It’s no surprise that I use this since I love live streaming. I love the interaction and the ease of recording from my phone (yes I also go live from my laptop).

I will often run a Facebook Live, save the video to my gallery and upload it from there so that I can have it on my Youtube channel or repurpose it into a blog.

You can also download your Facebook Live videos and then upload them to other channels.

COST - FREE

Debut Video Capture

I use the Debut Video Capture from Australian Company, NCH Software to quickly record my screen. You have a number of different views you can record, be it a set area, active window or full screen.

I like how Debut Video Capture quickly integrates with their video editing software – Video Pad. Better still, Video Pad can load directly into a number of video platforms, including YouTube. I really like this function as it saves logging in or moving to another window.

You can also overlay text or your webcam video. The webcam overlay is great so you can still see your face when sharing your screen. Perfect for video tutorials.

COST - $50 AUD

Adobe Spark Video

I love that Adobe Spark have mobile apps (IOS only) and that means that I can make videos on the run. I have used their templated videos to run Facebook Video ads with a voice over.

Adobe Spark Suite gives you access to the Adobe images suite and a multitude of templated designs. Of course, you can design your own from scratch.

Adobe Spark Video has a library of music to use as backing or you can dub over your video of transitioning images.

Cost - FREE

Lumen 5 - Blog to Video conversion

Lumen5 is my latest find and I am a little smitten with shiny new toy syndrome.

With Lumen5 I can take a blog post URL or text and put it in and out pops a video. Ok, so there’s a little work to do in there.

With the manual upload, you input the link or text and then you can add new slides and slide text to cover off the points in the uploaded content. The great thing is that it will import the linked images for you to use and it will also find related images and video to have in the slide backgrounds. Yes! You get video in video. It certainly makes for a more entertaining production.

You can then add background music from their library, upload music or you can dub over the top.

It gets better!

The Lumen5 video tool will also take an RSS feed and turn your feed into templated videos. Now that’s a hands off approach to video creation that I can applaud. The templates draw text from the posts into the template. You can then edit, change images/video and add the audio. A much faster result.

Most Lumen5 video sits in under a minute. This is great for a quick teaser to your content. Upload it to YouTube etc and embed with your blog for an overview for those who don’t like reading!

COST – FREE (so long as you don’t mind their branding)

Zoom - Video Conference & Webinar

I use Zoom for video meetings & training. I love the record feature and how it brings my webcam in over my screen when screensharing.

I use Zoom recordings to repurpose the trainings I do using Zoom.

COST – FREE to $28/mth AUD

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How to overcome the fear of success – for small business

Ever dream so big, set the goals, put the plan into place only to realise as it’s about to realise that you’re scared witless (or rhymes with) about it actually succeeding. Yeah that’s me.

Back in February 2016 I heard about Inbound, a major marketing conference in the US. I had just shifted my branding over, redone my website, and I had big plans for my business. “Why not reward myself?”, I thought with a trip. I spoke to friends about different social media & marketing conferences and Inbound came up as the one to attend for those who were already in marketing. So I decided that 2017 would be the year I attended.

In mid-2016 I toyed with the idea of attending in September 2016 but for various reasons that never happened, & I kept my 2017 goal.

Around comes 2017 and my business is growing and I find out that some of my favourite speakers (Michelle Obama & Brené Brown) are keynotes. Well, my need to get to Inbound went up a notch. I had to be there. These were bucket list speakers.

I bootstrap my business, meaning there is no capital investment outside of the income it generates. I had to work for those tickets.

Here’s the thing. All along, all through my career, I always thought the only way I would get overseas for work was if my boss paid for me. (Well I did work for the government) Now that never happened and in 3 short years of business, I find myself paying to go overseas.

So why am I so afraid? I’ve even lived in the US. I travelled between Australia & the US alone, so it’s not that. It is precisely what this trip represents.

Success

I have succeeded in achieving a goal I had never had for myself prior to starting my own business and one that seemed improbable.

Yes, I do have an overall fear of success. That’s why all of this is making me anxious just as it’s about to occur. Now don’t worry, I’m not a self-sabotager. I will be getting on that plane and attending that conference.

But what has got me stumped is this fear of success.

For many years I was told not to shine to bright, give others a turn, don’t get too big for my boots. I always thought that this was why I had a fear of success. I thought it was the self-talk tape I had had programmed.  Perhaps a little.

Then I thought it was actually a fear of failure. You know the whole, but what if I fail and fall flat on my face thing! Nope, not that either. While I used to say that failure was familiar, in a self-deprecating manner, and it’s true that I am no stranger to failure. I’m actually ok with failure. I learnt long ago to live without regret, which frees me from fearing failure. I am also incredibly resilient which means that I fail, I get up, I brush myself off, and I get on my way.

So it’s not a fear of failure in the guise of not fearing success.

So what is it about my fear of success?

The paradoxical thing about success, unlike failure, is that it can never truly be achieved. Once you’ve achieved a certain level of success, a new one appears. And I think that’s it. My fear of success is actually that I can never attain it, but don’t confuse it with felling like I will fail, it’s not that. It’s fleeting and surpassed by a new goal. I’m afraid of something I believe doesn’t exist because while I achieve a goal, success has moved. It’s a mirage that jumps along the road of progress to a new point.

So what to do about my fear of success?

Well I’ve acknowledged it and that’s always a good step.

I’ve called it what it is, the never ending fear.

So what does psychology say when overcoming fears, generally it’s exposure therapy. Repeatedly putting yourself in a position to encounter the fear while still in a safe environment. That goes against those things I was told growing up of not showing off.

But I have to lean into my fear of success. Just like getting over a fear of flying (not that I have that, heights yes). I have to work that muscle.

So I’m heading to the US to attend that conference. I’m doing it on my own dollar. I’ve leaned in to success and I’ve actually applied to be a speaker at a conference in Canada in 2018, speaking on consumer behaviour on Facebook.

So what’s my advice to those of you who fear success?

Look at your track record. Look at how far you’ve come. If you fear success, remember it is an incremental upgrade and that means you’re already successful. So lean in, there’s nothing to fear.

 

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3 tips to maximise your first media coverage

During the week I asked my friends and my Facebook group: What they would do next after their business was featured on national tv. I was wondering how and if businesses had thought about maximising their media coverage. The results were interesting.

For most it would be their first media coverage and to be honest, it can be daunting. While not necessarily press coverage, I remember seeing my first piece of associated press and not only was I over the moon, but I was completely daunted by the company I was keeping. Seems my reactions were not dissimilar to those I asked.

Most small business owners said that they would celebrate, cry, scream; essentially we all run through a range of emotions. Which is perfectly normal when we get that first media coverage, but then what? How do the best small business maximise their media coverage?

Get your website ready to cope with the media coverage

Some of the people said they’d check to make sure that their website could handle the increased traffic after receiving the press coverage. While the ability to handle the load is important, you need to maximise the press coverage too. Here are a few tips to ensure your website is ready not just for the rush of customers but the associated press too:
- add a link to your media page
- add excerpts to your media page
- add excerpts to other pages or blog posts
- add their logo to your site to say “As seen in”

By adding these points through your site, you maximise the kudos appearing in the media has and it shows associated press that you are interested and will share their press coverage.

Share the press coverage

Only one person said that they would upload it to their social media, they said their Facebook business page first and then their Instagram. No one mentioned uploading the media coverage to YouTube.

The thing is you can’t and shouldn’t just share the press coverage once to each channel and forget it. Here are some ideas:
- share the whole piece of media coverage
- share screenshots with quotes taken from the piece
- share excerpts of your press coverage
- share the story from the media outlet’s channels
- thank and participate in conversations about your media coverage, and

do all of these across all of your social media channels a number of times. The amazing thing about social media, is that your fans will celebrate your media coverage with you and won’t mind if you mix things up and keep your social media posts relevant and engaging. So ask them to share!

Don’t forget to share with your email list too!

Chase associated press coverage

It might seem odd but it’s easier to get press coverage once you’ve already had it. Now you might not get good results straight away and pitching the same story generally has little appeal to associated press, but you need to strike and set seeds while your name is still buzzing.

There are a few ways small business can get their business ideas in front of associated press channels. You can call or email the appropriate desks in the media outlet. You can also monitor sites such as Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and Sourcebottle, where journalists post opportunities to be featured in the media. If you'd like to read more on media pitches, have a read of my interview with Kellie O'Brien.

Write a note to the journalist who featured you. A personal note of thanks is rare and shows that you took the time to put pen to paper and appreciate their work.

In the end, your first media coverage can be daunting but it’s important for the best small business to maximise the spotlight and put their business ideas out there. This media coverage affords you the opportunity to grow your small business and the best small business will run with these opportunities. Media coverage is part of achieving your business goals and growing your business and perhaps if you’re not sure what you’d do if the spotlight was turned on you then you might want to consider getting clear on your business goals and what you would do if you were featured in your local press.

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