Writing Archives - Kara Lambert

Category Archives for "Writing"

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Why Client Avatar work fails and what is missing

Until a bit over 2 years ago I had a real problem with the standard client avatar work available. Many many years ago, in my previous business, I did a beta test of an online coaching program and had my first introduction to writing my ideal client profile. I hated it! I had to name them, detail their demographics, outline their day, it was even suggested that I found a photo of them and print it out. Something felt wrong.

Here’s the thing. With a degree in psychology, I know that we are more than what we do. I understand that diagnoses and labels give us meaning and structure to our lives, it makes things easier. But labels are just that, they stick on top of a number of behaviours and/or symptoms which make up the labels.

So what's the problem with traditional client avatar work?

Standard client avatar work reduces people to a list of labels. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than the labels society puts on me. Yes I am a mother, daughter, sister, wife, graduate, business owner; but so are many other women I know. Does that mean that we are all the same? Does that mean that all of our behaviours are the same? No!

What about my other demographics? I am a woman in my 40s with two teenage children. I’m married. Does that mean that I behave the same as any/many/most married 40 year old Mum of 2 teens? No!

So why do marketing experts and business owners still believe that these client profiles based on labels work? At best they are generic, but how are they used and what lies behind them?

These avatars are used to help business owners with their marketing and messaging. They exist to help with what words to use, where to focus marketing efforts; but where does this come from? The business owner’s interpretation of the labels. And this interpretation comes from their lived experience and opinions of these labels. This interpretation comes from our biases. What if they’re wrong?!

So what happens when a business does a standard client avatar exercise and finds it doesn’t work, and I have had many business owners in tears because this is the case but they were lead to believe it would work and was crucial. Their marketing efforts are misguided, they don’t make the money they feel they should, they are demotivated, and some even close their businesses believing they were a failure.

All because they relied on labels rather than what sat behind them.

Deeper than the client avatar

So what sits behind the labels?

Behind the labels are the behaviours, the actions. What drives these behaviours and actions? Our motivators. What drives our motivators? Our culture, our education, our lived experience.

The old ‘nature vs nurture’ conundrum has puzzled scientist for decades. Why can identical twins raised in the same home behave so differently? Researchers ponder why two people experience the same event differently, even down to developing trauma as a result of the same event. It’s individual differences.

However, marketing believes that demographics and labels is enough of a definition for a client avatar… even though scientists have grappled with individual differences for decades.

A new type of client avatar

So how do we account for individual differences in our client avatar? Can we individualise and yet be able to speak to a group?

I believe the key is in defining what lies beneath the labels. Looking at the unique behaviours of that particular mother of teens you have in your client avatar. What motivates her? Look deeper into her behaviours than how she fills her day, that’s what she does. Look deeper into why she does it, why does she make a particular choice, where does that come from?

When businesses are able to define and speak to these deeper motivators, they connect to their audience at a deep interpersonal level. You speak to your ideal client in words they understand at their core because you are using words that drive them to take the action they do, make the choices they make. You connect to them as an individual not a set of faceless demographics.

That was what I felt was missing in the client avatar work I did those years ago. Connection. A connection at a deeper interpersonal level. A connection like we were sharing a moment where commonalities were found and friendships were made. A place from which strong connections grew. A place to build a long lasting and expanding connections. A place to communicate from. A point of connection from where I could motivate a client to action because I showed them that they were understood, that they could know me, like me, trust me and then they would work with me.

 

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.

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.

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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3 ways to curate content for Facebook without Interest Lists

So late last year Facebook got rid of Interest Lists & I almost cried. Interest Lists were my go to way to curate content for myself and my clients. It was also a fabulous way for me to interact with client’s Facebook Pages in one spot. And then it went! Poof!

In this blog post I want to share with you the three methods I use to curate content from Facebook to share on Facebook. This is not about how I share it, more on how I find and collate the content to share.

From Pages

So what’s a girl to do when her go to method of curating content for Facebook is pulled from out of her feet? I admit, I struggled for a week or so and then I stepped back and had a look at what I was doing on Facebook. I watched my behaviour like an outsider, objectively. I always say it comes back to knowing how someone behaves.Content Marketing is not a campaign - Kara Lambert Business coach

I realised that I was searching for the pages I used and then scrolling through their feed, fingers crossed & hoping that something share worthy will pop up on their Newsfeed. It was hit and miss.

Then I remembered the ‘show first’ feature on Facebook Pages! Similar to the ‘Get Notifications’ except that I don’t have to run off and check when I receive a notification. No! Facebook delivers all of their content to me to see before I head off to look at friends, family, & other page & group posts.

Too easy!

From there, anything that I like I ‘save’ and then I can schedule the posts from my saved posts.

Not sure what I mean? Keep reading because I've recorded a video on how I do it and it's at the bottom of this blog.

From Friends

Yes, and I’m sure they’ve noticed, I use the same method for pages as I do friends’ posts. Ok, so not the ‘show first’, but I do save some posts and then schedule them. Let’s face it, my friends will share stuff that my clients enjoy to watch that I may not have seen otherwise.

From RSS

Content Marketing is not a campaign - Kara Lambert Business coachSo, for the Kara Lambert Facebook page, I actually use a social media management tool – Buffer.

Buffer, like many other tools, has an RSS service. RSS stands for ‘Real Simple Syndication’ and it’s like a subscription service, like subscribing to a magazine or liking a Facebook page.  You subscribe to a website’s RSS and they send you their content.

In Buffer, I have subscribed to a number of different RSS feeds, it comes in as content and if I like it, I can schedule it to post on my Facebook page (or other platform).

RSS & Buffer can be a little trial and error to make sure you have the right type of content, but the best place to start is with the websites you & your followers like.

Word of warning about RSS!

Using an RSS with a scheduler means you can’t piggy back on the Facebook popularity of a post like you can by using the ‘Save & Share’ method above. If that doesn’t bother you, then by all means use RSS only (I do) or do a combination of the two.

Still foggy on how it's all done? Watch this video...

asking for a review

I had an interesting discussion with a client of mine this week. They openly admitted that they needed to ask for more reviews. So, in true Kara style it had me wondering why we don’t ask for reviews.

Fear of rejection

What if they say I didn’t do a good job or they didn’t like it? Well, how’s about starting with the people you know like your work, your repeat customers. You know they  do like what you do – so start there.

What if they say no, they won’t do it? Well that’s ok too. You never had a review from them before, so them saying no is not a change. It doesn’t mean that they don’t like you (especially if you start with your repeat customers), perhaps they aren’t comfortable having their choices out on public display, perhaps they want to keep you as their little secret. That’s fine – you never had a review from them anyway so you’re not losing anything.

Fear of a bad review

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde

Even a bad review gives you an opportunity. They give you the chance to show your customer service skills, to answer their concerns (I bet they’re not alone), & to show you do care. I will add the caveat that you shouldn’t get into an argument with them. Even just acknowledging a grievance can be enough for some – some people just want to feel ‘heard’.

I have to add here that we humans find it easier to lash out at a business that we really don’t know or we don’t know the face behind it. If you have a good presence, then you’re really not likely to receive bad reviews, because it’s in our nature to be kind. (Except trolls, they’re just in it for the 5 minutes of fame, delete them)

I’m embarrassed to ask

So has it been a while since you last had contact, then say that – ‘I realise it has been a while but…’

What if… ok, so I addressed most of those above. I can’t make you ask for a review, but by not asking you (and future clients) will never know what your business is like and you won’t benefit.

I’m not good at writing/calling. Then keep it simple. Add a sentence to the end of your newsletter, on your Facebook posts, you have to practice the ‘ask’. You’ll find a way that sits well with you.

Won’t I look like I’m bragging

Sure, some people might think that – but isn’t it wonderful that you have so many happy clients willing to share their love of you, your business, & your product? How many more people do you think it will help by seeing  their feedback? Isn’t it great that future clients have a wealth of past experiences to read and to answer their questions or concerns before they even approach you? Rack them up I say!

So my overarching advice goes back to:
-if you don’t ask you don’t receive
-you never had the review to start with, so you’re not losing anything
-no doesn’t always mean never, it can mean not now or not that way
-if you don’t blow your own trumpet no one will.

Now before I go, I did write a post a while ago about how to make the most out of your reviews and which reviews work best. So, if you've now got the reviews (or you have some) head over and find out how to really work those golden nuggets.

So, if you have read my blogs, worked with me, attended a workshop, used one of my downloads, chatted with me about your business – I want to hear from you. Good, bad, or indifferent – any which way it helps me & others. you can comment below, leave a post on my Facebook page, or send me an email (just make sure you include a photo of yourself & a link to your business so I can give you a shout out).

How to use storytelling for sales growth

Storytelling is the current ‘thing’ for business. Not that there is actually anything new about it. Just think of door to door salesmen and you’ll get the picture. I’m seeing a lot around about using it to talk about your business, to talk about your ‘why’, but not so much about using storytelling for sales.

So what made me think about storytelling for sales?

So I run two businesses, this one and a product based business. The product based business ticks along, but in the main I keep it going because it has a good Facebook & Pinterest following where I can test things for this business. So, I noticed that my product posts were falling a little flat. I was still using the same light, conversational tone – why wasn’t it working? Then a friend approached me with the same problem (and she has a much larger page). Now there IS a problem. She was getting great reach & engagement on her Facebook posts when she spoke about stuff OTHER than her products, but when it came to the sales posts – crickets.

So I took a look at what worked on our pages (and what didn’t) and realised that the difference was storytelling. We tell stories when we’re not selling. In fact, we’re both damn good at telling stories when we’re not selling. So I wondered, what about storytelling in sales – how could we make it work?

So why does storytelling work?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you would know that I like to know the deeper ‘why’ & if it can go back to something about human psychology even better. (Look you don’t study the stuff for 3 years and then spend another 5 where it’s the main focus of your day job without it being a part of your ‘why’) So it won’t come as a surprise to know that I found this article by Lou Carlozo outlining the psychology of storytelling for sales & the keys to making it work. So what are they?

  • Oxytocin – the love drug or one that bonds mother to baby is switched on when we read stories
  • Metaphors matter – the use of metaphors are important in telling stories, they’re the Vegemite to the buttery toast. (Just don’t mix your metaphors or it can get messy)
  • Relevance – there’s no point telling a great story if it’s not relevant to the product/service or your customer.

So, how can you use these facts on social media to help your storytelling for sales?

You can make it about you

While probably not widely recommended, and pretty much going against most of what I teach, you can try the following ways of incorporating storytelling for sales and talking about you…

  • The history behind the product/service – was it your first, come out of necessity, your favourite
  • Give a behind the scenes story on how the item is developed or improved
  • Tell us how it makes you feel when someone purchases your item

Make it about them

You could also do the much recommended – make it about your client…

  • Post a testimonial on why they love your product (just make sure you include their photo, read more here)
  • Tell them how the item will make them feel & make a difference (based on what they’ve told you of course)
  • Give them ideas on how else to use your item (I’ve received some great ones over the years – like a headband for a curtain tie-back)

You see, sales is no longer the straight forward “buy my shit because it’s awesome & I said so”, the vast majority of us research our purchase before they’re even made & with a whole internet full of information (and mis-information) – the last thing we need and want is hard old school ram it down your throat sales. It just isn’t working. Now I know how the mind is triggered by storytelling for sales, I know I’ll be spending a lot more time honing my stories (and making more sales).

If you would like to learn more about  connecting and using the power of the mind in your business then we can chat or you can learn it all in my course that will teach you what you need for all of your social media.

How to win at media pitches

Kellie O’Brien spent 16 years in print journalism in Tasmania, writing everything from hard news stories through to international celebrity features. During her career she’s led newspaper campaigns, been a magazine editor, chief of staff, chief copy sub editor and photographer. She also had a regular guest spot on commercial radio and hosted and spoke at numerous live events. Since its inception, her personal blog has grown at a rapid rate. This is thanks to numerous marketing initiatives, strong branding and a keen interest in social media. From this, Kellie helps people realise their dreams through the power of communicating their story to the world and systemisation.

 

The 3 major errors businesses make when pitching to media outlets

Journalists and media outlets are looking for a way to show relevance & grab the reader, so unless you are heading for 100 years in business - don't pitch your birthday. These story hooks do not help the journalist to capture the reader. You need to make them timely, relevant, and give them a different twist to what they would normally see. Let's face it, they are just as interested in promoting themselves as you are. A different twist to your story or story hook will give the outlet a different angle & perhaps a way to capture a wider audience in relation to your story.

Don't pitch the Editor, pitch the relevant journalist. Editors are responsible for the oversight of the paper, or their section of the paper; & with the exception of smaller outlets they will not be looking for stories. Searching through the relevant paper will help you to find the responsible journalist. Look for the names attached to your niche.

When you get the media attention, make sure that you have a way to capture that traffic when it hits your website. Otherwise you are missing an opportunity to gather leads & more broadly market your business. Ensure that you products are easily found on your website & that there is a clear call to action on your homepage.

Should media pitches differ between print, radio, & tv?

Some coaches will recommend blanket pitching across media outlets, while this saves you time it can cost you opportunities. This scatter-gun approach means that no one agency is getting their exclusive, which they all crave. This is not to say that you shouldn't pitch to multiple outlets, just that you need to differentiate your hook. Craft your hook to suit their audience. You will need to ensure you have three wins: a win for the journalist (a great exclusive), a win for the reader (interesting content), & a win for your business.

Is there still a place for print media?

Many print outlets will have some form of social media presence, they will also leverage these platforms to capture their audience. Your story might just be one of those stories that they promote online, giving you exposure in the print publication & on their social media profile.

Businesses also need to consider the habits of their ideal client. Do they read the paper (and which one), be it in print or online? This ideal client avatar is useful across the business profile, not just for social media marketing.

Additionally, having an article in media gives you the opportunity to add their logo to your website, growing your media cluster badge. This collection is valuable social proof when other media outlets are searching your site, but also when customers are stopping by. These badges show that you have a reputable brand or offer.

What role does social media play in promotion in media outlets researching your business

This really depends on the story, it can play a part if you are looking for credibility in your field. That said, if you have thousands of followers but no interaction on your profiles the size of your following will not help. Outlets like to know that you are current and active in your field. Additionally if you Google your business name and appear on the first page of the result for your areas of interest then media outlets are more likely to find you when they are looking for article topics.

What is the benefit to having a media pack available

Having a media page/pack helps the outlet research your business. If you are looking to be interviewed, have a list of your top 10 questions (this will save the journalist time in having to think them up). If you are running an event, include a fact sheet. Most importantly, make sure you have a 200-300 dpi jpeg image of yourself for the outlet to use in the promotion.

What are your tips for HARO and Sourcebottle?

The biggest tip is to respond quickly. While some outlets will put a lengthy timeframe for responses, it is often the first few which will gain the most interest. That said, look out for repeated questions, this means that the outlet hasn't received quite what they are after & providing a great response will mean a grateful journalist.

When responding, ensure that you provide relevant information. While you might want to spruik a new product, unless it's relevant to the topic you will only come across as needy and spammy. When providing contact details, ensure they are ones that you are able to respond to quickly - no point providing a work number if you are there part-time. If a journalist is unable to contact you, you will miss your opportunity & risk looking unreliable.

What is the power of sound bites?

Sound bites, or quotable quotes, are short, 10-30 sec sound (or text) bites that summarise a point. The key to these quotables is to include emotion. You can inject emotion into the quotes through smilies, metaphors, analogies, pop culture, or just good fun.

Is there a better (or worse) time of year for pitching to the media?

This really depends on your business and the media outlet. Coming into Christmas, relevant products with a novel twist can gain good exposure in the media. Coming in to the New Year, health and business planning services will stand to gain for the quieter holiday period. You have to ensure that you provide a novel twist on the season, something that which will have your service (and the story) standing out from the crowd.

Kellie has a content calendar which includes the holidays and relevant observance days. This is a helpful resources for planning your social media activities & gives you the necessary hooks for pitching to media outlets.

Here is the entire interview with Kellie O'Brien. If you would like to read more about Kellie's services and products please go to www.kellieobrien.com.au

 

 

 

Do you struggle with time management?

Do you struggle with your time management? Are you sitting comfortably? Let me tell you a short story…
Once upon a time I was working fulltime in the Australian Public Service, I was travelling interstate every three months , I was also studying my Masters of Public Sector Management (and MBA for public service), one child starting school & the other in preschool, and then I started my first business. Huh!? Yup, in my spare time I started a business. Now, I run two businesses with two school age children & do this without putting them into care during the school holidays. (I admit that the sanity wavers at times)

So how did I do it all?

Change how you perceive time

Before Gay Hendricks introduced me to the theory of Einstein time in the Big Leap, I knew that when I was calm and in the zone – time seemed to stand still. When I feel pressed for time, things go wrong and time goes all too quick. When I feel that I have a lot of time and that I am in control of my time, this is exactly what happens. While it is true that we do ‘waste’ time, sometimes, more often than not we are actually holding the belief that we don’t have enough time & it is better spent elsewhere. If however, we turn it around to a belief that time is a resource and one we can control, our beliefs around – then we find that we have an abundance of what we seem to crave.

Work at night

Gary Vaynerchuk advocates working between 7pm & 2 am. When I was starting up, I had to keep these hours.; to some degree I still do, I work until about midnight-1 am most days. I am grateful to have an understanding husband, but I make a conscious choice not to work weekends & to prioritise time together when schedules allow.
The other thing I changed for a while was showering at night. Granted, I did not do this at 2 am, but when I was heading to bed at a decent hour, I would shower of a night time thus giving me time in the morning.
I have to add that when it comes to school holidays I really burn the midnight oil. It means that I can make the most of the kiddies being at home, be a fun Mum, & still meet client & business demands.

Reverse engineer your week

I still bookmark events early in my calendar and schedule my time around these milestones. Rather than being tripped up by a deadline, it allows me to be flexible with my time. In fact, I always built flexibility into my timeline to give space for illness or the need for some downtime.

Plan using a calendar

I have been using Google calendar for a while. It has been the easiest way to integrate hubby & my calendar across devices and to ensure he knows where the kids need to be (& when). When I started business coaching I started to use Calendly, while I no longer use the free version, it has allowed me to open up my Google calendar to clients for bookings. This has removed the tedious email juggle on organising a mutually suitable time.

Schedule social media

When I started out there wasn’t post scheduling & I was only on Facebook. When scheduling was introduced, I embraced the native platform to help manage my time. I have now signed up to Buffer to help with my Twitter presence & I schedule my videos in Blab. This means that I can post to my social media platforms 24/7 (if I wanted), but more importantly that I can post when my customers are on but I am preoccupied elsewhere.
I also use scheduling as a business tool for my social media management clients. Their clients are all on Facebook at the same time, thankfully scheduling means that I can post at the same time, but not have to be online.
I used scheduling to the ultimate when I spent a month overseas in 2014.

Use a content calendar

Speaking of that holiday, it wouldn’t have been possible without a content calendar. I used one from Kellie O’Brien, I chose it because she shares a lot of the celebratory days/holidays and I find having these in one location great when you are stuck for content ideas.
I have also started to run a weekly theme across my social media platforms. Now this does not mean that I autopost the same content at the same time across all of my presence. Instead, I choose a topic and schedule/work through posts on that topic across the platforms. I learnt this from The Social Leader & it means that I am not scrambling for ideas. This frees up my time to work on other projects, or just have some time out.

Know your ideal client

Knowing & having an up to date ideal client avatar means that my content is relevant to their needs, consistent & it gives me a ready list of content ideas. If I am ever stuck, I can turn to this description and choose a pain point, a need, a value, a benefit & address it that week. Once again, it saves me time in trying to find a topic. It also helps to know where they hang out, have a look at the following blog post as I let Australian business owners (and ones who want to sell in Australia) in on a secret.

Know your benefits

Flowing on from knowing my ideal client is knowing my benefits. Knowing my benefits makes it easier to respond to customer queries, formulate reviews, & generating other useful content to help my clients.

Make good use of the tools available
So earlier I mentioned Calendly & Google Calendar. I do have a few other time management tools up my sleeve.
Facebook for Business
I admit that I am still cutting my teeth on this one, but my big love for this is that it removes the distraction of my friends' Facebook activities from my view. I can only see what is happening on the pages I manage. There is no chat, she liked, he commented, they shared in my field of view. It means I can jump on to Facebook, do my thing & jump off.
IFTTT.com
I used to use the platform a lot, I now use it for posting my Instagram images to a Facebook album and to Twitter. I do have it auto-sharing from Facebook to Twitter for one of my businesses. It is a powerful tool built on If/Then statements & integrates with dozens of applications for hundreds of combinations & thousands of benefits.
BUFFER
I use Buffer to schedule the majority of my Write to Right Twitter feed, my Facebook page & my Facebook group. Not only is it great because I can do this from one spot, but also I can reschedule old content. This means that I can leverage older & high performing content, or put the spotlight on older & perhaps less seen items.
Feedly
I use Feedly to find relevant articles for my Buffer streams. With the content curated in one spot, I don't have to troll the internet for relevant content, remember where I saw it & retrieve it at a later date. Fabulous!

What are your favourite time management tips? I'd love to learn more. 😀

 

 

 

How to use the psychology of reviews to improve your social media marketing

70% of Americans say that they look at reviews before they purchase and 90% of customers say that their decision was based on the reviews they read prior to purchasing. Online reviews and other forms of social proof form an important part of a business’ social media marketing. However, as we are talking about the human behaviour of making a purchase, be it online or offline shopping, then we need to consider the psychology of reviews and social proof.

I spoke about this on a live stream, you can watch the replay or scroll down to continue to read the article.

Types of social proof

When we think about social proof, we think of reviews and testimonials; however it can extend to such things as posts, videos, and brand ambassadors. In fact, there are five main types of social proof: Expert, Celebrity, User, Crowd, & Friends.

Expert

The expert social proof is based upon our opinion of the person or brand providing the proof. This social proof is generally seen in the form of endorsements, comments, and paid ads. These work on the psychology underpinning the ‘like, know, & trust’ effect. It builds upon the relationship that the expert already holds with the customer & uses their underpinning belief that the expert knows so it must be good.

Celebrity

Celebrity social proof uses the customer’s self-perception and their desire to improve their position. This is where businesses can use brand ambassadors to promote their products. They do not need to use A-list celebrities, anyone who their client looks up to will have this aspirational effect.
A good example is Oprah’s Book Club, any book listed has become best sellers.

Users

This is what businesses classically know as social proof. These are the reviews, stars etc. seen on Facebook pages, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, and Whirlpool. Psychologically these allow us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. We are able to imagine their experience. This social proof concept draws directly from the psychology of the collective conscience.

Crowd

The crowd effect of social proof marries in with the User form of social proof. However, it pulls upon the psychology of the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). This is where businesses can use numerics, through number of items sold, to encourage buying behaviour.

Friends

Friends are an incredible influence online. Just think to your own activities, how often do you ask friends about specific brands via social media? Consider how you feel if a friend has an adverse experience with a particular brand. Businesses can dig deeper into the psychology of Friends social proof as it also applies to people we perceive to be like ourselves.

Why people provide Social Proof

There are six main reasons why people give social proof: Altruism, Reward, Influence, Complaint, Loyalty, & Fame.

Altruism

Customers will give you reviews because they want to help and they like to feel valued. In fact, just doing this can make them feel happy long after the actual event. Additionally, the act of providing the social proof can reaffirm the benefits they received from the purchase and reinforce that they made the right decision.

Reward

Some customers will provide reviews because they will receive something in return (discount, free items). This is where Brand Ambassadors fit, you send them items to use either free or heavily discounted in return for their endorsement.

Influencing

Some people will provide reviews & feedback so that they can influence (change) the product or service. They are sometimes doing this altruistically, so that others will not have to share their experience, or so that their experience is improved in the future. (social listening)

Complaint

Self-explanatory, but some people do just like to complain. While this one causes the most anxiety for businesses, showing that you can positively turn around a negative experience not only influences the behaviour of those making the complaint, but also those reading it.

Loyalty

This seems to be the pinnacle of desired customer behaviour. Brand loyal customers will spread their message far and wide. They will do it purely because they believe in your business & message. These people are most likely to be your ideal client.

Fame

Some people will leave reviews in the hope of becoming famous. Now this could be with their actual comment going viral, think of the Haribo reviews on Amazon. It can also be people posting pictures of themselves using your product in the hope that they will be seen by your followers. This ties nicely into the ‘Friends’ form of social media, particularly as this type of social proof is most effective when accompanied with a photo.

How can businesses use psychology of reviews in their social media marketing

Psychologists know that people are most likely to remember either the first or last few things they see or hear. This is called the primacy & recency effect. This is why large review driven sites will list the best reviews first. Businesses can benefit by doing the same. You can even keep negative reviews when using this format as psychologists have found that so long as people read positive reviews first, negative reviews will not adversely impact on their buying behaviour.

It is better however to not list any social proof than little social proof. Some suggest a minimum of 10 pieces of social proof. When customers see low levels of social proof they perceive the business as being ‘new’, ‘untrustworthy’, ‘or ‘not being used by others’. This goes against the psychology of Crowd social proof.

Likewise, businesses should be wary of 1 & 5 star reviews. These polar reviews can be seen by customers as either being too good to be true and as review numbers grow they can be perceived as less credible (especially if there aren’t comment accompanying the review). There is a psychology behind reviewers who give polar reviews, in so far that people will tend to exaggerate their views so as to compete for influence & the attention of the business.

In the end businesses need to remember that their reviews will be read and will be used by their customers to reinforce their underlying beliefs about the business. Negative reviews will reinforce negative perceptions and positive reviews reinforce positive perceptions. These perceptions & beliefs drive your customer’s behaviour to purchase from your business.

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