Blog - Page 2 of 17 - Kara Lambert

social media content calendar

So you would think after running social media for over 7 years now I would have a social media content calendars and I would have that thing down pat. Nope. Not me. In fact, I used to believe that that made me unstrategic in my content. That couldn’t be further from the truth either. I am in fact quite strategic. Perhaps it’s that I’m not much of a planner and more a seat of my pants kind of gal, a la Pretty Woman. Nope, I am a certified Type A personality. I am very organised (don’t confuse that with neat though) So why don’t I use a content calendar?

It’s quite simple. I’ve never found one I liked, not even some I could mash together and call my own. I’ve often heard people talk about content calendars and to be honest I had a little fomo because I didn’t have one. Then it struck me why.

Social media content calendars are way to plan out your content. Some have some method and pattern to the types of content you post. This could be vlog, image, shared content. Or it could be quote, testimonial, blog, sales pitch.  It’s telling you the type of content to post not the topic.

Some people develop content topic lists. I’ve looked at these lists, hey I even developed one of my own for blogging a few years ago, but I find they fall sort. Here’s why.

Content calendar topic lists fall short in my mind because it’s one person’s opinion on what topics suit my business and my audience. Sorry, but that’s not going to work for me. I know I’m not the only business and social media coach in the world but I’m pretty unique in the way I think about things. I bet you have your own competitors but you also have your own unique position and proposition in the industry too. So why would a generic list work when you’re individual? (to an extent)

The lists of topics are often written from the business perspective. This means that the topics are there to serve you as the business owner and the business as a whole. Last I checked businesses were there to serve their audience, not be self-serving (sadly too many still are).

If there are topics that are written from the audience perspective, how many of them address the individual and specific motivators of your audience? Do they consider what motivates your audience to choose your business over another? Does it consider the key objections and what drives these objections? Wouldn’t you want your content to answer these questions for you? They are in fact your silent salesman.

The other issue I have with social media content calendars is that they generally don’t tell you how to formulate the post nor do they tell you the best time of that particular day to post it. So I wonder what the benefit is in having these lists of topic that may not meet the needs of your target audience, a schedule of the types of posts to publish, but no idea of what time of day to publish them, and how to write them up?

So what do I recommend?

Well now you’re aware, you can make a more educated choice.
Put your client first. Meet their needs first.
Look at the psychology of an engaging post.
Look at the statistics of when your people are on social media and post then.
Yes, I do have one that I sell, but it’s part of my Organic Facebook Course (because winning content is so much more than the topic).
And if you’ve done all of these, then it’s time we talked about your social media content and how you connect with your audience.

What is Facebook Organic Reach and why does it matter?

Facebook organic reach is the number of people who had an unpaid post from your Page enter their screen. Organic reach can be broken down into viral and nonviral:

  • Viral: The number of people who had any content from your Page or about your Page enter their screen because their friend likes or follows your Page, engages with a post, shares a photo of your Page and checks into your Page.
  • Nonviral: The number of people who had any content from your Page enter their screen. This doesn't include when someone's friend likes or follows your Page, engages with a post, shares a photo of your Page and checks into your Page.

Excerpt from Facebook Help

To simplify, nonviral includes what you see in your Newsfeed because you follow a page.

So why does Facebook Organic  Reach matter?

To be honest, most businesses I speak to do not have the money to constantly run Facebook Ads to push their page, content, or product/service into the Newsfeed of their desired audience. It’s as simple as that.

Nonviral Facebook Organic Reach is their primary aim. They want their posts seen by their fans in their Newsfeed. Just like it was in the good old days of Facebook, before Facebook Ads or the Facebook Algorithm. When they were able to put up a post and have it seen and the people buy from it. Oh the memories!

Viral Organic Reach on Facebook is important for growing their audience. They want new fans, new clients. They want to improve their social proof with an increased number of fans.

Is Facebook Organic Reach really that necessary?

While the statistics are old, let’s look at just how many business pages rely on Organic Reach rather than ads. The latest statistic on how many Facebook Pages there are dates back to 2015, at that point there were at least 50 Million Facebook Business Pages. Of those 50 Million, 4 Million (as at 2016) were advertising on Facebook. That’s eight percent of Facebook Pages who run ads. Which means 92% rely on Organic Facebook Reach alone.

Not only does that number alarm me but it says that this is important.

So why isn’t Facebook Organic Reach taken seriously?

I’m not sure that most Marketers or social media coaches understand what it is and what proportion of the Facebook Business marketplace relies solely on organic Facebook Reach. I have to be honest; I didn’t until I did some research. What I did know was how many people came to me for help or downloaded my ebook on it. I knew how many people had attended my workshops and completed my course. All of these numbers pale into just how many Facebook Pages do NOT advertise.

The other issue is that when you do a search for “Facebook Organic Reach” on Google you end up with millions of pages telling you how reach is falling and Facebook Pages are dead. The thing is that with page numbers tripling from 16 M in 2013 to over 50 M in 2015, it seems that Pages are most certainly alive. With 92% of these pages not advertising, why would anyone believe that most of them can’t afford to advertise? And who says reach is falling?

Below are the insights of two of the Facebook Pages I still manage, I no longer offer social media management as I would rather put these skills in the hands of the 46 Million or so page owners who need it.

Page has 364 fans

Page has 9 724 fans

 

These are not once off. These are regular numbers. If you look back through my Facebook Page, you will see. I’ve taught countless businesses how to do it for themselves. So why do businesses continue to believe the lies that pages are dead and reach is falling?

I honestly don’t know because everything I see and do points the other way.

How do I get it the high Organic Reach on Facebook?

I’ve run Facebook Pages since 2011. I’ve seen the introduction of the Facebook Algorithm and Facebook Ads. I’ve learnt through those years and these changes how to manipulate the Algorithm and what to post on Facebook. I’ve learnt what content is best posted at which times. I’ve researched the psychology of social media, Facebook, and engaging posts. I’m not sure that those sources saying that Facebook Organic Reach has dropped can say the same.

But in the end, does Facebook Organic Reach truly matter?

It does. To 92% of Facebook Page Owners, this is the only way their posts, products, & services will be seen. When over 90% of a market relies on one way to market themselves, that makes it important. These people need to know that the time they’ve invested isn’t lost. They need to know that the ‘random’ success they’ve seen is actually repeatable. They need to know that as the majority, this matters and is feasible.

The three things I’ve learnt in 4 years of blogging

In the start of June 2014, I started blogging for this business. The business was very different back then. I was a proof reader, copy editor, and website auditor. I don’t provide any of these services any more but one thing I still do is a weekly blog (during school terms). Now that has meant that the subject matter has varied ever so slightly, I have learnt a fair bit about blogging in this time. So what have I learnt and how can you use it with your blog – in fact any time you create content?

It’s not about me in my blogging

A good proportion of my blog is me imparting knowledge to others. This could be things I find, it can also be the stuff that rattles around in my skull. This stuff is definitely not about me. Like this blog, it’s about you – the reader. None of this is self-serving. I do this to answer questions I see and hear. I do this to remove overwhelm and angst I see.  Even if I get something out of it, at most an email address, I still come at this from a place of service.

Here’s the kicker. Even when I am the subject matter, it’s not about me. When I’m writing about my experiences, I do so to show you that you’re not alone. I don’t want to be the guru preaching divine practice from the mount. I’m human and I want you to see that I fall and get up again. I want you to learn from me. That means holding a mirror to my actions and showing you the lesson.

 

 

Be vulnerable with your blogging

I know, it’s hard. It’s not just emotionally hard to be vulnerable. It can also be professionally hard to be vulnerable. In fact, it’s this second space which held me back the longest.

Here’s a secret when it comes to both blogging and vulnerability. Most people read blogs to connect with the blogger. They want a little insight into them and their lives. This is precisely what being vulnerable does. It allows the reader insight into who you truly are.

There is a benefit to this. Other than the fact that it can be quite cathartic. Being vulnerable in your blogging gives that ‘like, know and trust’ factor a massive injection of all three.

Blogging content comes from the strangest places

I will raise my hand high and  proud to say that I am a bad blogger. I do not have a content clanedar. In fact, I’m very much the uni/high school student blogger, who blogs at the 11th hour. Now does that mean that I have crappy content? I hope not. Does it mean that my topics are often not strategic? A lot of the time. Does it mean that my blogs come together quickly? Now they do. Does it mean that my blogs are raw? They sure are!

That’s the thing. I am a bit of a life blogger, you might say. I blog from my life, from what I see and hear. I blog the topics which whizz around me. I’m a bit of an intuitive blogger. I take the topics which I see appearing repeatedly in my life and I blog RIGHT THEN!

Here’s the gold in all of this blogging knowledge

You can take these tips and apply it to any content creation. You can apply it to your emails. You can apply it to your videos. You can apply it to your Instagram. And you can certainly apply it to your Facebook Posts.

Being focused on your audience, being vulnerable, and being relevant is just good content creation. And I hope I give that to you.

business bullying

There is a growing trend online in attacking business owners. Frankly I’m sick of it. I’m not talking about disagreeing on things or complaining about a product or service. What I am talking about is the growing incidence of bullying of business owners online. So what do I mean?

The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) define cyberbullying as:

Cyber-bullying or stalking occurs when someone engages in offensive, menacing or harassing behaviour through the use of technology. It can happen to people at any age, anytime, and often anonymously.

Examples of cyber-bullying include:

  • posting hurtful messages, images or videos online
  • repeatedly sending unwanted messages online
  • sending abusive texts and emails
  • excluding or intimidating others online
  • creating fake social networking profiles or websites that are hurtful
  • nasty online gossip and chat, and
  • any other form of digital communication which is discriminatory, intimidating, intended to cause hurt or make someone fear for their safety.

They also go on to say that while not all cyberbullying is criminal, there are penalties of up to $30 000 or 3 years imprisonment for serious offences. They also say that all Australian states & territories have laws against stalking.

So while all of these legal protections are in place, my concern is actually why it happens in the first place and what business owners can do.

So while ACORN list what bullying is, it’s interesting to look into what fuels the behaviour. Especially when it’s unprovoked by the business owner. What do I mean by unprovoked? I’m talking about instances where the business owner is bullied by someone who hasn’t bought a product or service and experienced poor workmanship or service. In fact, the often benefit from the free material and their attacks are personal in nature. They could have consumed a whole liturgy of free material, without fear or favour, and then attack the business owner out of the blue.

So why do people bully?

The person doing the bullying wants power or control over the person they are bullying.

But what drives their need for control or power?

I will continue to say that we have 5 key motivators: beliefs, fears, needs, goals, and values. When we become out of sync with these motivators we become stressed and this can manifest in many ways. The two main ways we manifest stress is either internally or externally. Bullies are externalising this imbalance.

So some researchers say that the need for power comes from stress, trauma, learnt behaviours, insecurities. Some of this is an expression of fear. Fear of losing someone, fear of losing control. Some of this is a poor belief and value structure. That could be low self-esteem, that the business owner should be able to take it, that it’s online so it doesn’t matter, that you can’t read tone into online comments so it’s ok.

What I believe is that while they have fallen out of sync with their core motivators, they have also dehumanised the business owner to the business. The sad thing is that they want to be seen as an individual. They are generally personally affronted by something the business owner has done and attacks because they don’t feel like an individual, doing precisely what they feel has been done to them – dehumanised.

In the end, we need to realise that regardless of if the relationship between the business owner and the individual is going well or is a bullying one, we need to remember that there is a person at either end of this. Dehumanising is destructive. To fight this, I encourage business owners to stand up against this. Report the bullying activity to the social media platform (if the bullying is on the platform), report it to the Internet Service Provider if it’s via email, report it to the police, and/or report it to ACORN.

Finally I want to encourage the community as a whole to reclaim the term keyboard warrior from these people. These bullies are not warriors. Warriors protect, defend, and serve. Warriors are strong. I want those who stand up against online bullying to claim the term ‘keyboard warrior’, for we are the warriors in this.

2 steps to handling business overwhelm and the 1 thing we’ve lost

The other day I was talking with a lady who told the story of a friend who was struggling with business overwhelm because of the smallest decision for their business – what URL to choose. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this. I’ve had consultations with business who are overwhelmed with not getting anywhere with social media. But it’s not just where we show up in our business, we can be overwhelmed with how we show up.

I’ve helped a number of business owners through this. They come to me with a particular tool they are struggling with, generally Facebook, and they feel utterly overwhelmed. Like with most of life, what we think is the problem rarely ever is. But the thing with overwhelm is that it is all encompassing and that so often we are unable to realise that there is more to the problem that meets the eye and if we only looked a little further the answer would be so clear and so simple.

So often I see this overwhelm and it’s characterised by any or all of the following things.

 

Sounds simple right? Too simple to answer the issue of this overwhelm! It’s not and here’s why.

Humans are hard-wired for connection. Connection to our family, our friends, our community, our tribe. When we lose these connections we feel lost. As lost souls we grapple and grasp for things to give us direction and meaning. Much like connections do.

In business we have three connections. Connection to self (our passions). Connection to business. Connection to clients (audience).

When one or more of these are out we feel out of whack and the more disconnection we have, the more overwhelmed we become.

 

So what is some of the overwhelm I see in business?

  • Social media overwhelm – which channel, what to call things, group/profile/page
  • Niche overwhelm – what to niche to
  • Email overwhelm – to send newsletters (or not), how often to email

These are tools. The ‘what’ to do in business. Unfortunately they’re often made to be the should do in business too.

Connection is the deeper why we do things in business. Remove them and we feel off kilter.

So what is the one thing we’ve lost other than the connection which is contributing to overwhelm in business?

We’ve lost that all of this connection is about people. We have lost that the ‘whats’ and ‘shoulds’ are actually about connecting to people. This is where I see the overwhelm sitting and this is where the relief comes when I show it to my coaching clients.

Now for some this might seem simplistic, but I have to say that there is a tonne of science behind people, connection, and how they interplay with social media, communication, and business. And this fascinates me.

If it fascinates you, use the link below to find a time for us to chat more. https://bookme.name/karalambert

Stay true to your passion

I didn’t start out this business as a business coach. In fact I started out as a proof reader and website auditor. How I got here is a story for another day but there was a point, not unlike where I’m at now, where I pivoted. I decided that I was more interested in coaching in the psychology beneath your business and your social media. Psychology was my true passion.

So in the early days in proof reading & auditing, like any business, clients were few and far between so I relied on a fair amount of free advice. One of them said to me not to use the term ‘psychology’ because it was confusing to people. They also suggested focusing on social media as that was popular and I was good at it, so an easy win. (but not true to my passion)

So I did that and I had some success but I still felt torn. I kept blogging about the psychology behind social media because it was my passion but I never spoke about it. I didn’t promote it. If I did it was haphazard and somewhat apologetic. I was divorced from my true passion.

I kept on working, more and more in Facebook and kept trying to grow the business coaching. All the while I was slowly and subtly bringing in psychology. I was having some introductory (free) calls for Facebook coaching and all I could see was overwhelm as business owners were disconnected from their audience and their ideal business. They had come to me for social media help but needed my true passion.

You could say that the Facebook changes on 11/1/18 gave me the chance to talk more on the psychology but that was only Facebook, it still didn’t consider the psychology in business. I was getting closer to my true passion.

I still felt lost and I knew I wanted to do more. I had to do more. I couldn’t leave these business owners and their clients disconnected. Social media was only a method to connect it wasn’t the basis of how connections are built, developed and maintained. I wanted business owners to have that sense of satisfaction I had seen in the coaching clients I had. They were building the business they dreamed of, they were getting the lifestyle they loved, they were flourishing financially. All because we had worked on the connections in their business. Between themselves and their business, themselves and their staff, their staff and the business, and the business and the client. This was my true passion & incidentally I had written it on a lanyard in 2015 for the local TEDx conference.

So what’s my advice. Stay true to your passion. It will stay true to you if you want it to or not. It will stay with you through thick and thin and when you need it it will be there. Stay true to your passion, it will help you find the right words to say. Stay true to your passion, it will not confuse others as you will speak clearly on it. Stay true to your passion.

Binary beliefs and business

Over the last week I have seen many conversations, and been in arguments, where people were so bent that their opinion/belief was right and the other person was wrong. It’s made me wonder what has happened to make us so binary in our beliefs. And what has happened to us that we think it’s ok?

While this is mostly a personal issue, it’s noteworthy to consider binary beliefs when it comes to customer service in business. This is where it’s going to cause the biggest problem. The next issue I see is when dealing with staff and then suppliers.

So what do I mean by binary beliefs?

Let’s start with “I’m right & you’re wrong”, that’s what sparked this. (Generally followed up with, “Let’s agree to disagree”.) We are starting to understand that sexuality and gender aren’t binary (male/female, gay/straight). Why is it that we think beliefs are binary?

Ok, so I suppose that my belief is mine and yours is your own, the classic ‘them and us’ scenario. And that in essence makes them binary, what I’m looking for is a discussion on understanding and tolerance. Or even some perspective taking. There’s benefit to both parties if they are willing and want to learn.

When I teach motivators, I use the definition of a belief as assumptions we hold to be true. Beliefs are contextual: they come from learned experiences, from the cultural and environmental situations we face.

Here’s the thing, we forget that beliefs aren’t actually truths; because we hold them as true, it doesn’t mean they are. While they might be true for us, they are not always someone else’s truth. Beliefs draw on our experience, including our culture.

The thing about beliefs is that not all our experiences become beliefs. Generally they have to align with other beliefs we hold before they are adopted. Then, the other issue with beliefs is that we search out information etc to reinforce our beliefs. (Attenuation Bias)

So how is this binary belief a problem for business?

Well if you’re aware of it, this is the first step in changing. Then the next is taking action when you’re aware that you are falling into this binary belief scenario.

Don’t get me wrong (pun intended), there are times where standing by your beliefs is necessary, this isn’t about that. But what happens when you’re faced with a customer who you can’t agree with?

What I’m suggesting is that businesses look at their own beliefs and check in with how beliefs form . Perhaps, it’s that this person has a different lived experience and so their beliefs differ. That doesn’t make them wrong, but different. (And I hope today we are better at embracing differences)

How do you feel when instead of hearing how wrong you are, according to someone's beliefs, they took time to listen to you. I can tell you from dealing with hostile clients, feeling listened to is enough to calm a customer down. We all want to be heard.

So you’ve heard what they have to say, now what?

Most people would react by telling them how they’re wrong or going back and reinforcing their belief. But this takes us back to the binary belief problem. So what to do?

You reinforce that you’ve heard & understood what they’ve said by repeating it back to them and then you look for common ground. Again, beliefs can change and we are hard-wired for connection. Finding common ground puts you in a position of peacemaker rather than dictator. In business I’d rather have a win for both than one or none.

The beauty of beliefs is that they come from our lived experience. Moving from a binary belief set and having experiences to challenge our beliefs allows us and our beliefs to grow. And I’m all for personal and business growth.

Making the most of the spare time

It’s no secret that I was not happy about being flat out crazy busy during school holidays. I wish I could say it was because I was out having fun with my kids – but it wasn’t. Now they’re back and it’s quiet. Not the, thank goodness I can do what I want quiet, but the where have all the customers gone quiet.

Ok, so the customers haven’t dried up. I still have all the same customers. I’ve also negotiated and outsourced some work I would normally do myself – and it’s all with the contractors at the moment.

But I look down at my plan of what I am doing this week, I think back to what I did last week, and I look up at what I have planned for the quarter… and I scratch my head.

Where has all this spare time come from?

I know, I know, I should be enjoying it – and I am. I am also a little wary of the quietness. The other day I spoke with a girlfriend who has a highpower corporate position and I mentioned the quiet time and she reminded me of something:

“Kara, make the most of it!”

 

I had forgotten this. In my corporate days I knew there would be times where all my own work was in hand and other work was out with other people & I was waiting for it to come back. I used to tell myself the same thing. Make the most of it.

So what do you do when you find spare time on your hands, more than a spare hour or two? How do you constructively fill a few days when you’re waiting on things?

This is where I use my planning tools, in all honesty. What are my aims for this month, quarter, year? I will work my way up to the highest level goals to see what I can be doing in this time to achieve these goals. These quieter times are great to get stuck into a meatier piece of this work.

Re-evaluate

Take some time out to have a look at your numbers. How have you gone? Is there something which could/should be performing better than it is? What can you do about that? Is there something you’ve been repeatedly putting off and this time could be used to tackling it once and for all? Or, do you actually need to do it at all and save yourself some more time?

Tackle an idea

Do you have an ideas jar? You know, somewhere to capture those brilliant ideas that you can do when you get-a-round-to-it? Pull one at random  and tackle that sucker.

Plan

Seems a bit counter-intuitive but big blocks of space and time are perfect times to plan for the time ahead!

Create

Create some content. Create some videos. Schedule some social media. Learn a new skill to help you create. Do those things which keep your business ticking but you tend to run out of time to do. Make the most of it.

Chill

Take some time out for you. While many might think that this should be the first & I have to say that after a busy period it is my go-to option, make sure you take some time out for yourself.

It can be a bit odd when you suddenly find yourself with spare time on your hands, but it doesn’t mean that the world is falling down. This breathing space, when put to best use can catapult you further than your busyness ever could.

Make the most of it!

 

PS. If you're wondering what I'm doing with my spare time... I will be creating - writing more of my book and I am allowing myself the time to let some ideas come to me and re-evaluating & taking action on them. I'm looking forward to showing you what comes of it..

 

Slow down

Slow down! Don’t push! Don’t hurry! Stop hustling! There’s plenty of time and we deserve your best work.

I’m seeing a number of people talking about burn out. People worrying about deadlines. Business owners lost in comparison with their competitors. And I want to scream, “STOP! ENOUGH!”

Recently my kids were on their 2 week Autumn school holidays and normally I will move work to the evenings and work half-days so that we can have time together. Instead, I had pressing deadlines, clients with work which couldn’t be moved, and events that had zero flexibility. I pushed and hustled and pushed some more. Just to get through. And I hated it. All I wanted to do is slow down.

Contrast that with how I feel on my morning walks. After the holidays I made a commitment to a 45 minute walk, alone, before I start work. I even decided that I will start work at 9.30 on those days, sorry clients – I’m on a late start. No hustle, no grind, just at peace with my thoughts. And you know what happens. The ideas rush at me. I don’t have to push. I can slow down and just be and they will come because my mind is still and I am not forcing anything.

Last year a friend suggested that I run a livestreaming challenge. “Too easy”, I thought. I’d been livestreaming for years and had some great hints for how to improve livestreams and get people using the medium. I thought I could have it up in 2-3 weeks. That was enough time right? Oh how wrong I was. It took me 3 months to get the first round out. Why? Because I knew this was a needed and powerful tool and deserved to be done properly. I had to slow down to do it properly.

Too often I see business owners overwhelmed because they had a certain date set in place to deliver a new product or service or something by. They see it looming and they start to stress out.  I want to remind you of a few things:

It’s your business.
You set the timing.

We survived without this new marvellous creation, we can wait. We deserve your best work, not a rush job. We deserve you at your best, not a stressed out and worn out shell of yourself.

Here’s the other thing… creating for your business should not feel rushed, hustled, a chore, or something you need to churn out or through. Slow down. Savour the process. Delay. Refine. Enjoy. We all deserve it.

Whose opinion matters to your business?

So the other week I went and had new branding photos taken. It had been 4 years since my last ones were done, I was still happy with them, they matched my colours, I was still using them, but I had the redone all the same. Why?

I went to a coffee meet up and a number of the women there, who I had never met before in person, said they didn’t recognise me from my photos. That’s odd, I hadn’t changed, my hair was only a slightly different cut but not colour. Why didn’t they recognise me?

So I stopped and asked my friends, had I changed or did I look any different? They all said I looked the same and these other women didn’t know what they were talking about. Now I could have taken my friend’s advice but I stopped for a second.

In business, whose opinion matters most? My friends who know me, trust me, and recommend me regardless. Or someone I don’t know, who I am starting to build a relationship with, who I need to develop that trust with. If they don’t recognise me from my picture, is there a problem.

You bet there is!

I could have stuck with the feedback which confirmed my belief, that I wasn’t that different from my photos, or I could look at it from my audience’s perspective and have new photos which reflected what I look like now, regardless of how small the change is.

Here’s the thing, we are all built with a perception bias. We will all seek to reaffirm our beliefs. However it’s when we want to do something different or move somewhere new or become someone bigger than who we are that we need to change what we do.

We can not expect different results from doing the same things.

When it comes to business, we need someone who will challenge us and not always tell us what we want to hear, rather they tell us what we need to hear. They hold a mirror to ourselves and make us see things differently. They challenge us and guide us through new things so we can have different results. Even when we want to stay doing the same things and those closest to us are reaffirming that.