The Secret To Blogging Success – Fast Food Of Course!

Fast-Food

Yes, you heard me right.  The secret to blogging success is, of course, fast food.  I mean it’s obvious, isn’t it?

OK, maybe I should explain before you pick up the phone and order another [insert favourite food] from your local take out.  The secret isn’t about the food itself – that will just lead to diabetes and obesity – instead it is more about why fast food is so popular.

Why Fast Food?

Ask yourself why fast food is so popular.  We all know that it is bad for us (really bad!) yet people still eat it.  I consider myself reasonably healthy and I even follow fitness plans from sites as https://www.tophealthjournal.com/, yet I am still partial to the odd curry from my local take away restaurant now and again.
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You see, fast food (and junk food in general for that matter) is popular, not because of the taste but because it is both convenient and cheap.  Just walk down the street and you will pass several take out restaurants.  Supermarkets are stocked full of convenience food and there are vending machines on just about every corner.  Frankly it is everywhere!

What Has This Got To Do With Blogging?

Ok, bear with me.  I’m getting to my point.

Fast food is simply a product that is widely available to the mass population, which is why it is so popular.  Blogs can learn a lot from this as the real key to success is to simply try and make their content as widely available to the mass population as it can.

The internet is a wonderful thing.  Never before have we been so connected as a global species.  Despite this fact, sites still need to work on making their content accessible in order for people to find.  Just because it is online, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people will be able to find it easily.  You need to do what all the fast food companies do and get your quality content in front of as many people as possible.

There are plenty of ways of doing this, including;

Anything basically to help people find you and your site.  Some of the biggest fast food retailers (McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc.) aren’t really successful because of the food they make (I could make a better burger), it’s more to do with the fact that they can deliver that food to everyone because they are everywhere.

Advertising is usually the first method that people choose to use to help promote their website, but arguably the better option is to focus more on SEO.  Search engines are how the vast majority of people will find you online, so by concentrating on improving your ranking within Google, Yahoo & Bing, you can greatly increase the visibility of your site online.

Another way to think of it is like this.  Think of each of your blog posts as fast food outlet.  The more of these quality “outlets” that you have ranking highly; the more people can potentially find you online via the search engines.  Only then can you make money yourself via your own advertising, product sales, affiliate links, etc.

There are too many bloggers out there that give up and throw in the towel simply because they are not getting the traffic that they expected.  On inspection of their site however, it is usually clear to see that many of these are doing very little promotion (if any at all) of their content, which is why they are getting no traffic.

Summary

I hope this post has helped highlight the important factors that you should be focusing on with your blog.  The fast food metaphor was simply used to try and hit home the message.

I’m now off to eat something incredibly unhealthy.  Please feel free to leave your comments and feedback below.

Curating Content For Your Business Website.

If you are a small offline business and you are building up your online presence with a blog and a social media campaign you will know that it isn’t easy unless you are creating and sharing content.

Creating fresh content isn’t particularly easy either especially if this is all new to you or creating digital content is not the nature of your job. I am a writer and content creator and I knew that I had to write a post today but I was struggling to think up what to write about, and I write regularly so for someone who is new to all of this it can be a real nightmare.

I looked through a few of the last posts I had written recently for numerous projects and found some inspiration for today’s post. For a new website owner you might not even have much to go back through to help inspire your creative side.

Well today I want to share with you the best and fastest ways to create content for your website and social media campaigns and that is to curate content from the web. Content curation is a newish term that describes basically what newspapers have been doing for years now.

NewspapersPapers need to sell papers for their businesses to survive and to keep people buying those papers they needed to fill their pages with good content. If there were a big event happening like the tragedy of September 11th 2001 then there is a lot of content for them to fill their paper with but if it was a quiet week for news and they needed to fill out their pages they would source interesting news stories from around the country and often the world then re publish them.

sept 11 newspapersThere would be a specific journalist who would look for these stories then re write them to go into the paper and include all the relevant and important source credits. The people who read the paper would still keep on buying it even if a lot of the stories were sourced from other papers.

They very rarely went out and changed their daily paper for those where the stories came from, mainly because they were too numerous to mention and often small regional papers. They preferred to have all of the interesting news and stories delivered to them in one place.

When you have a website and a social media campaign you can do the same as long as you give the right source credit and play fair. cupcakesFor example, if you ran a local Cup Cake Bakery and you had a blog that you were building up, you could do a post that included the ’10 Best Cupcakes We Have Ever Seen’ and include 10 pictures of cakes you have seen in magazines or on the web.

You write a little blurb about the cakes then add any relevant source links to the image/cake owners etc and then you are good to go. You might see in a magazine an article with images about a cup cake bakery in Australia and decide to re write the article in your own positive way re using the images.

Again you make sure you have the right credit links in place, if you do then most people would be flattered that you have featured them or their work on your website. After all it is free advertising and exposure for them.

Some people may ask you to remove their images or stories from your site but it isn’t personal, just remove them if you are asked. It is unlikely though, if they do then they are seriously missing the big picture. As I said it is free advertising and exposure for these people.

Now you are beginning to see that you can mix up your website content with your own images and content with content you have found and enjoyed that is other people’s work. This is actually good for your social media campaign because it can do two very important things..

  1. Your followers will not get fed up if you share content that is interesting and not just yours. If you posted on Facebook & Twitter everyday your own images with a dull ‘Like My New Cupcake Picture’ style posts people will get fed up. Sharing other interesting stuff and other people’s work shows that you are an interesting person and not just out to ‘Constantly Sell & Push Your Products’.
  2. You can start to build a network of likeminded friends, you may not be able to meet up with or work with your fellow cupcake bakers in Australia but you can share ideas, chat work and share each other’s videos, pictures and articles. You might make friends with bakers in a neighbouring city which might lead to some work or at least a great friendship.

It is building up a network of like-minded friends that led to this bizzebee site being developed.

Curating content is big business and yes there is some work involved especially when re writing the content or adapting it into a series of fun images but there is no big thinking needed or planning required. You have access to all of the information right in front of you and usually all of the images you need just require you to download them to your computer and upload them to your site.

cupcakesIf you want to add more content such as a YouTube video or more images you have all of the details you need to do a search for more information. For example if you were recreating an article on the ‘10 Best Cupcake Shops In England’ and you were writing about the shop ‘Cupids Cupcake’s’ in Colchester (Fictitious example). But the article you were using as your base only had 2 images for this shop yet it had four for the rest, you could easily do a Google search for more because you have the exact keywords to find out more information and images for ‘Cupids Cupcake’s.’

Curating content is not theft if you correctly use source credits and links to the places where the images and content come from. You might not have permission to use them and if you really want to be all above board then shoot off emails to the right people asking for permission but usually it is seen as ‘fan advertisement’.

There are millions of websites online run by fans and they often write about the things they love like films & TV, books and sports, they would use images of the actors/sports people but rarely get sued because they were generating free advertising which is good for these industries. In fact when blogging by fans became huge with many websites having millions of regular visitors big companies took notice and now regularly send fan writers free stuff to review or just to say thank you.

When you curate content you are not using those images for commercial gain in its truest sense, yes you are using it for site content to help grow your business but you are not using their images as your own or recreating them within a book that you plan to sell.

They can ask for the content to be removed but if you have done your work properly then the chances are they will be happy that you have shared and featured their work or they will ask for the content to be removed in a friendlier manner than they would if you had stolen the work for your own use.

So if you have a website and growing a following on social media but struggling to think up or create content then why not look at the things you are reading and enjoying online then curate it into your own relevant content? It can be done while relaxing at home in the evening in front of the TV because it does require less thinking than creating your own unique content.

NEW Individual Courses & Membership Price Drop – The Hive

Individual Courses

Today, we are happy to announce that we are launching a new feature to our premium site ‘The Hive’.   You are now able to purchase individual courses that we have put together for a one-time payment.  Better yet, you can become a member and get access to all of our great courses and content for a NEW REDUCED PRICE!

Individual Courses Now Available

We have spent a lot of time putting together our membership site (The Hive) for people to sign up to and access all of our premium content.  One thing that kept cropping up, however, was that certain people were only interested in some of our individual courses.  Well, we pride ourselves on listening to your needs, so we decided to package them up individually for you.

Currently, we have 2 fantastic courses for you to purchase, but we are working on plenty more behind the scenes that will be published when ready.

Individual Courses

If you are just starting out online and need help getting your business up and running, check out our ‘Beginners Guide To Creating A Website’ course.

Here, we guide you through the process of setting up your site online and introducing you to WordPress with our detailed videos.  You also get an accompanying eBook with the course so that you can refer back to it when needed.

Learn more about this course here.

Individual Courses

Nowadays every business needs a social media presence online as that is a fantastic way to both, find new customers and interact with existing ones.

In our ‘Beginners Guide To Twitter’ video course, we guide you through the process of setting up your Twitter account for your business, we show you how to begin to grow your following, different types of tweets that you can use and more.

Learn more about this course here.

Membership Price Drop!!!

We also have BIG news in the fact that we are dropping our membership prices for all new members.   Gain access to all our existing courses, videos, audio, eBooks and future content for a monthly subscription of $39.99 $9.99.

Alternatively, purchase a lifetime membership for $399.99 $99.99 and gain access to all our existing and future content FOREVER!  If that’s not enough, lifetime members also get access to us, the Bizzebee team, to help them individually with whatever they need help with their business/website.

So what are you waiting for?  Head on over to The Hive and take a look at what we have to offer you.  If you have been thinking about getting your business online then we are here to help.

Top 5 Tips To Increase Your LinkedIn Following | BizzeBee

Top 5 Tips To Increase Your LinkedIn Following

LinkedIn is a powerful Social Media platform, and something up until now at Bizzebee we’ve not really spoken a great deal about. So I thought today would be a good opportunity to break that habit, and take a little look at how you can increase your LinkedIn page following.

Before I say anything, I want to share a video with you, Its from the official LinkedIn YouTube Channel, and talks about how to post an update within your company page on the site.

A Powerful tool don’t you agree?

So we need some quick fire ways to get people following your company on LinkedIn – Yes another site you can now engage with people away from your own name, under a company ‘hat’

As a business we should all want to increase our opportunities to network with clients, prospects, colleagues, peers, suppliers, and potential employees’ right?

LinkedIn gives us the opportunity to build a well-developed presence within its platform.

Did you know there are over 2 million businesses with a LinkedIn company page? Many of which are looking for new talent/opportunities.

As with every other social networking platform you MUST build up a network of followers, otherwise the content, updates etc. will not show up in newsfeeds and be seen by people. So like you make a commitment to turn up at Facebook and Twitter everyday …. Same goes for LinkedIn – the ability for the Viral Promotion is the exact same as most others, you can share content in your personal profiles which then becomes visible to all your friends / connections / followers.

It is NOT always about having masses of followers, I know I have previously said its more about quality than quantity, particularly if you are a business start-up / small business / SME. You want the most relevant people in your network following so they will share out to their subscribers.  If you build this steadily the numbers can and often do increase quickly!

Top 5 Tips to increase your company page following:

  1. Encourage existing employees, relatives and friends to link up with your company page share the status updates, and various links.
  2. Follow company pages of those in your industry, suppliers, experts, customers, prospects – most of the time people generally follow back – something about the courtesy of it, having good manners and generally being polite! You don’t need to stay pigeon holed in following your industry; you can follow those geographically near to you too even if they are in a completely separate niche / industry.
  3. Send An Announcement – Don’t be frightened to email your connections on LinkedIn.  ALWAYS provide 2/3 concrete benefits as to WHY someone should follow your page …. Remember people have the WII-FM mentality (What’s in it for me) so think ‘What will they get out of it?’ ‘How can it help them to be better at what they do?’
  4. Consider sending that same ‘Call to Action’ message to your existing database of customers & prospects, especially if you know they are using LinkedIn.
  5. Post a ‘Call to Action’ to follow your page within relevant LinkedIn groups

Remember! The more relevant a follower you have for your LinkedIn company page, the more opportunities you have to be seen and build that all important influence with your target markets!

There is a whole host of information and areas that we need to cover when it comes to LinkedIn and in due course you can expect to see a lot more discussions happening on our blog which focus on the different aspects of the platform.

Slow & Steady Wins The Race

Good Morning to you all, your resident Queen Bee is back at the reigns today for another snippet of Social Media gold dust for you all to digest.

As a child, my teachers, my parents even my extended family members always used to tell me to slow down …. Life isn’t a race! (Still not sure I agree) However, the tale of the Hare & The Tortoise has always stuck with me, mainly because of the famous saying “Slow & Steady Wins The Race”

There are a lot of people in Social Media who know this statement to be very true (the entire team at Bizzebee being one collective), and personally the more I learn about how social media works through my different connections and people I work with the more I realise it really is true!

Have you ever felt like a kid in a candy shop?! I did when I was first introduced to all this Social Networking – and I’m pretty sure that I’m not the minority here either!

Wanting to be on EVERY social networking site, writing on walls of all your friends, tweeting your favourite people, tagging photos, post micro blogs, and follow pretty much everyone we come across.

In the short term this will work as a ‘strategy’ but to sustain for the long term is not so realistic. Especially if you are handling a lot of clients and that responsibility for them grows, or your own business online presence really does start to take off with social media.

It’s natural to want to take it all on, but it’s virtually impossible to do it without burning yourself out quickly *take my word for this PLEASE; I was one of those people who did it all and spent 15 hours a day on my laptop!!*

So what steps can you take to ensure you finish this ‘Race’ without running out of steam?

Slow & Steady Wins The Race | Bizzebee

I’ve got 5 steps I want to run through with you (imagine now I’m your pacemaker, remember we don’t want to run out of steam before finishing the race!)

Never Forget Your Goals – It is very easy to get distracted, especially by looking at what your competitors are doing. Some of these may have a bigger, louder presence than you – don’t let that put you off what you are doing. It’s ok for people to be doing different things. Stick to your goals and work harder and smarter to achieve them.

Evaluate & Re-Evaluate Your Social Media Platforms – It can be fun and exciting to put yourself or your client on every social platform, it is very unlikely that every platform is right for either you or your client. This is why you must monitor your audience interactions on the different social networks, so that you can decide which ones work best for you / your client, and then not waste time on the rest. Personally I think it’s best to focus on a couple of key platforms with success rather than be engaged in all and only giving 50%.

Quality not Quantity – Understanding this is probably one of the hardest steps you will take! Not all relationships online will be beneficial to you. You need to understand that some relationships WILL be one sided, some will take from you, without you getting anything in return. No matter how many followers, fans, friends or connections you have if they are not in line with your business philosophies, it may be time to get rid of them from your networks. It really is about quality tuned in connections rather than LOTS of uninterested ones!

Pace Yourself – Remember  ‘slow and steady wins the race’ Whether you are managing your business, starting your business or someone else’s, if you lose a few followers or ‘Likes’ because you are not always updating your twitter or posting content on your Facebook page, then they weren’t very loyal to begin with.  It is far better and important (in my opinion) to establish lasting relationships with fewer followers than superficial meaningless ones with lots of people.

Dust Yourself Off & Try Again – Not every Social Media campaign will pick up at the rate you expect it will. Not every tweet will get 50 retweets or 50 likes on Facebook. That is ok – don’t’ be afraid to try or experiment. If something does not work, then just try something different. People using social media have short attention spans, in 22 hours and 51 minutes they will have forgotten what you said anyway.

At the end of the day, social media is a means to an end, but if you can stick to your goals, work hard, pace yourself and not be afraid of failure there is a high chance you will succeed in this ‘marathon’ and you might even score a medal! (Metaphorically speaking)

As your online help to success, Bizzebee understand more than  most, often we are all juggling one or two different things at any one time – so I highly advise you to head on over to our Hive, and grab your 30 day FREE access to our training library 🙂

Until next time,

Queen Bee – over & out!

7 Common Social Media Mistakes | Bizzebee

7 Common Social Media Mistakes & How To Avoid Them!

Afternoon Colony 🙂 Your resident Social Media Queen Bee is back in control of this post today, whilst trying to decide what to write today’s piece about so many things crossed my mind, but instead I’ve decided to focus on some REAL nuggets of information that will help you out a lot with your Social Media marketing.

“I’ve learned so much from my mistakes I’m thinking about making some more”

7 Common Social Media Mistakes & How To Avoid Them! | BizzeBee

For some traditional marketers out there, Social Media can seem a scary place to be – as some of these mistakes can actually turn into a Public Relations nightmare, but in today’s online, connected world we live in these things can happen, so the SMART thing to do would to actively be a part of the conversation, engage with people because it will be too late to try and build your network once a problem has arisen.

7 Common Social Media Mistakes …… And HOW to Avoid Them

1) A Lack of RESPECT towards others on social media platforms.  Who would have thought this, Social Media runs on the old fashioned ‘Good Manners’ …. It’s true, just like in those old mafia-esque films like The Godfather – the old fashioned values stick. Just because you work for a global brand / company does not mean those people in your social media networks will automatically listen to you. Think like a ‘customer/follower’ (if you’re involved in social media, you’ve been a customer, listening right?!) Remember they are thinking ‘WIIFM’ (What’s in it for me?) You might also want to note, that by just ‘tweeting’ them with special offers may not cause them to pay attention for any longer than making the purchase.

How do you avoid this – BY LISTENING TO YOUR CUSTOMERS / PROSPECTS AND WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ACROSS THE VARIOUS PLATFORMS. Be active in this, and where possible respond / engage where appropriate. It is VERY helpful to deliver some level of customer service to your clients via social media sites – so be prepared to build this into your social media activity.

2) Using ROBOTIC / TECHNICAL Corporate Jargon on social media platforms. PEOPLE BUY INTO PEOPLE, therefore social media requires a human presence. If people don’t believe there is a person behind the tweets / updates / pages then you are doing your business | product | service a severe injustice. Broadcasting messages only about your products / company repeatedly causes people to switch off.  Me, Me, Me constantly is how a lot of marketers miss the boat in the social media world.

How do you avoid this – Before you start pushing out your business orientated messages, spend some time LISTENING (oh look it’s that word again!) to the conversation your network of people are having. Realise that there are many dimensions to what things people talk about, and understand that they are talking about many different things all at once. Constant messages that would of only be interest to those inside your world / business will not generate interest from your followers and lack power across all the platforms. You MUST participate in the conversations happening around you, People buy into People so always be thinking ‘How can I help/ what can I give?’ It makes you sound Human (which is exactly what we all are at the end of the day!)

3) ‘Buy My Product, Buy My Product’ There is NOTHING WORSE than a pushy salesperson – we’ve all experienced this haven’t we?  It makes you want to walk quickly in the opposite direction. The exact same principle applies in social media, and infact it’s probably worse within social media, because your first encounter with someone isn’t a face to face one, it’s a virtual one. By pushing your sales message straight on people you’ve only just (virtually) met proves you do not understand how social media platforms work.

How do you avoid this – Change your tactics on social media platforms. You can opt for a ‘deal of the day’ or an ‘offer of the week’ or even a platform specific promotion –i.e. to get 25% off your first order just quote ‘Twitter25’ over the phone. And show these updates ONCE a day, and for every ONE self-promoting / company message you should make at least 10 messages to your prospects / customers offering help, advice & value.

4) Build a following for one campaign. Without fully understanding the time and effort involved to keep your social media going forwards, some marketers (or people in charge of social media within a company) may just build a following based on one campaign, without thinking about how to keep them active and interested once that is over. US Basketball player Lebron James did exactly this, built up a following / created interest around which team he was going to join in July 2010, and instead of providing fans and followers with reasons to support his decision, he seriously pi**ed them off.

How do you avoid this – Start by understanding the relationship nature of social media. Getting engagement for a one-time promotion = customers taking your deal and then leaving. Instead USE this promotion to build long standing relationships with your prospects. Create an action plan for on-going interaction/marketing with them, as this will be what turns prospects into paying customers.

5) Forgetting to incorporate your brand into your social media. Businesses work hard to establish and grow their brand right from the word go. Branding should therefore be an integral part of your social media interactions. Including pages, interactions, conversations and content. It runs much deeper than just a company logo avatar, and colour co-ordinating pages to match that of your business’s

How do you avoid this – EXAMINE your company from the inside out, think about how you will portray your company identity in your social media interactions. Social Media is about CONTENT and SHARING … A good idea is to look at case studies within your business and consider using those.

6) Employ a student who knows about Facebook. Naturally it can be attractive to hire someone who is young, enthusiastic and understands social media to handle this for your brand / company. BUT it kind of overlooks the importance you are placing on your company. Experience and maturity are required to really understand your business and most importantly the public. People take social media seriously, so you should be prepared to put your best foot forward.

How do you avoid this – To the people you want to reach you must show that your business is serious about social media, you do this by having employees that know your company / products/ business / branding running your social media activity. Provide them with the training that gives them the skillset to do so, create a social media policy which educates them how to represent your business correctly AND what to do as private citizens of these social media platforms.

7) Are you invisible in your social media activity? Social Media requires a level of ‘putting yourself out there’ this does not mean you need to divulge information on your competitive edge to others, nor does it mean you need to advertise your financial statements. But your target market and prospects will want to know where you stand and what you’re up to, so a level of transparency is very much needed.

How do you avoid this – BE TRANSPARENT (when required) don’t just open up a social media account and just hide in the shadows watching everything going on around you. Create a good profile that best represents your business and shows off your point of view. Make sure your representatives are trained in social media and that they understand your business, so that they can hang out on social media platforms engaging with your prospects with a level of transparency, without giving away all your corporate secrets.

Those are my 7 top tips there covered, we are all going to make mistakes when it comes to Social Media. It moves at such a vast pace and is constantly evolving; there is no way to guarantee (even with the best laid marketing plans) that you won’t face problems.

The important thing here is to be prepared to respond in the world that now seems to be running 24/7 and how to handle the communication publicly. For further information and online training, then we have “The Hive” which is our members only online learning portal for you to really understand all aspects of running your business online – which if you haven’t already done so, head on over and get your 30 day free trial!

Clair – aka Queen Bee 🙂

Where Do I Need To Be? | Bizzebee

Where Do I Need To Be?

Hey Bees

Another week and another post from me. Social Media is really my area of expertise, so for the foreseeable future from me, I am going to really try and connect with you all and focus my blog posts on this one area.

An area that covers a multitude of sins however, there is absolutely LOADS that falls under the Social Media hat, which actually links really well with today’s post – something I spend a lot of time talking to people about.

Where Do I Need To Be?

Before I get into the swing of this post, I want to say, whilst this will only take a few minutes to read, the actual process itself can take a lot longer (in some cases 4-6 weeks isn’t unreasonable) knowing where you need to be on social media platforms is actually a lot more involved that you would initially think (most people’s kneejerk reaction is “everywhere”)

Believe me, there is absolutely NO point in just signing up to all the sites (off the top of my head) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr, Bebo, MySpace, Foursquare, EBlogger, Google+, YouTube: Could youWhere Do I Need To Be? | Bizzebee imagine trying to successfully manage all those accounts AND get the most out of them?!

There is a process each and every one of us should go through to decide which is right for us. Let me explain this to you by talking you through how I started using social media to promote my business.

My offline (family) business is in Print & Graphic design and I wanted raise our brand awareness, show people the services we offer, our expertise on problems people might be having with design issues or just generally understanding the importance of printed marketing materials for their business.

I started off by looking at where my market is by searching Google, Facebook, Twitter Search, YouTube and niche specific forums to discover and investigate my target audience, I was hanging out with people interested in print, who knew about print and more importantly who were buying print. LinkedIn also proved to be a great tool, as there were so many groups with active discussion boards in my niche, and there were a lot of geographically local groups I could join where people were connecting, offering services, talking about services.

I then studied what our competitors were doing – on their corporate websites and their social networks, this is a great tool as I got to see what was and wasn’t working for them. I was getting actively involved in the networks / circles they were a part of (because let’s face it, people in them were potential customers for me) and believe it or not, I even started to ask people questions (if you don’t ask you don’t get, right?!)

It was by doing these 2 simple tasks over a period of a few weeks, interacting with my target audience I was beginning to see EXACTLY what I needed to do in order to become a go-to person in the print and design area. The other really clear thing was that I didn’t need to be active on every single social networking site in existence.

By monitoring the above mentioned areas I started with you get a feel and quickly where your target market is most active. By a simple process of elimination with the Market research I’ve carried out I knew I needed to be active on:

Facebook: I needed to start a page, where I can upload content, showcase work, post of exclusive offers, run giveaway competitions and get my friends to help me with viral promotion. Invite questions, comments and post links to articles and blog posts related to print and design that other people would find of value

Twitter: For the sheer fact I could search in real-time incidentally enough Twitter is where I had my first ‘sale’ through social media marketing and I continue to this day in making connections and getting new clients just by conversing 140 characters at a time! Posting links, offering referrals, re-tweeting BEING HELPFUL!

LinkedIn: Because I can connect with industry professionals who can be of help to me, who have more expertise than me, who I can learn more from. And in turn I can build up a strong network of contacts with more detail than I can with twitter and Facebook. The power of the LinkedIn discussion boards is phenomenal. (I highly recommend you look at one in your subject area / niche – it’s like a load of experts in one place offering real inside information and opinions)

Now whilst I appreciate I’ve discussed an offline business here, I also carry out the exact same procedure with my online (this) business. There is so much expert help out there, and there are so many people who are in need of useful help and guidance that I am always carrying out on-going market research to make sure bizzebee are engaging with people in the best places online to carry on being of VALUE.

Whatever your niche / subject area, you can do exactly what I did above to make sure you connect with the right people on the right social networks! There may not be a ‘One Size Fits All’ strategy but believe me if you look hard enough you will find your unique way of sharing and connecting your content with your audience!

Our Bizzebee Hive is an excellent portal for those people who often sit there wondering “where do I need to be?” There are MANY guides and training materials to help you understand your online marketing journey, have you had a chance to check it out yet?

Clair – aka Queen Bee 🙂

YouTube - Friend or Foe | Bizzebee

YouTube – Friend or Foe?

Youtube is BIG business, and before I started working on this Bizzebee project, especially The Hive, YouTube actually scared me. My business is to educate people with Social Media, and for a VERY long time I avoided utilising Youtube like the plague, which is kind of my motivation for writing and sharing this post with you all today.

It has taken a LOT for me to get over the whole ‘how do I look, how do I sound’ scenario, which without a doubt is the single most common problem I think as humans we all face when putting ourselves on the internet in video format.  However, YouTube is SO  powerful for marketing yourself and products that anyone who is serious about taking their business online, can’t afford to not get involved.

As consumers we all love Youtube, how many times have you been sent a video clip of something funny via email? Or listened to a song that brings back memories of summer holidays? Or how many times have you shared a video on your Facebook timeline or your Twitter feed? And how often have you wanted to find out HOW to do something – that after a few minutes of watching a video, you’ve found the answer? EXACTLY ….. we all know and love YouTube!

Each and every one of us can use YouTube to market our businesses …. Yes that’s right I said OUR business’s (it’s not just for the big corporate, branded companies) We can all take advantage of this hugely powerful platform and incorporate video into our company marketing / branding strategies.

BUT you need a good video in order to draw traffic (people) to your website after they have finished watching. Don’t panic (I’m saying this because I was panicking when I realised this but had no idea how to make a GOOD video or what even constitutes a good video)

Creativity and Professionalism – these are probably the 2 most obvious, but there are some other factors should probable be taken into consideration also!

Friend or Foe? Queen Bee’s Top 5 YouTube Tips For A Newbie

 1. Someone once said to me ‘It’s Better To Stand Out Than To Fit In’ and this saying has stuck with me for a LONG time because of how apt it is across life in general!  With all of the videos out there, yours needs to stand out in the crowd so don’t be afraid to be creative!!! Use fun music, great shots, and try to find an angle that hasn’t already been done. People generally turn on to You Tube to be entertained and your video needs to be able to do this.

2. Show off your knowledge! I know that nobody likes a show off, BUT people are searching for your product / service so it’s vitally important that you are giving out THE best knowledge, or wealth of your experience! Give some tips or solutions to common problems that are associated with your particular product, business, or services. This is an informative video and the audience will like the fact that they are learning something. Try to make the tips unique enough that most people can use them but haven’t necessarily heard of them before.

3. Make your video educational. People like to learn things when they watch a video. Your perfect You Tube marketing video doesn’t have to be all about how to find your website and what the cost of your product is, you do not need to over-sell (that’s what your website is for) you need one call to action from the video, and that is to get them to click on your website!

For example, if you are advertising your car mechanics business then why not give a demonstration on how to change a tire? Or Top up the oil?! People will watch your video, learn something, and then visit your website. These how-to videos are a lot less threatening than standard commercials or advertisement that you see on television. Plus, they are entertaining.

4. Make it REAL; try adding “behind the scenes” footage in your video. You can do this by introducing your staff, introducing some customers, or even giving the audience a “behind the scenes” tour of the office, factory, or place of work. People appreciate this and it gives your product or business some authenticity. I think this is a crucial element in the whole ‘Trust Building’ between prospects and businesses. Remember PEOPLE BUY INTO PEOPLE (I know I say this a lot, but it’s true, it’s like my mantra! Ha-ha) something like this element is what could turn a prospect into a customer. Seeing really is believing after all

5. Add closed-captions to your video. Keep in mind that not everyone is able to hear and that those audience members might be the very ones that want to order your product. It’s very thoughtful to keep the hearing impaired in mind when creating a video, even a marketing video, because most people rarely do, and the last thing you want to do is alienate any prospects.

I found YouTube extremely scary when I first starting looking at it from a business marketing perspective and stopped using it to watch funny clips and listen to music. But the reality is, it’s no scarier than anything else you’ve never used before! But it can be daunting with knowing where to start.

I’m still no YouTube guru or expert – well infact even if I was on the level of Casey Zeman, I still wouldn’t call myself an expert – however, I am learning more and more each day with it, and in the end I had to get over my own insecurities, have a little faith and take the plunge! 

The team here at Bizzebee have some VERY good video marketing experts in the team – so if you have any questions or just want to talk to someone to help you with your first steps, then I would suggest you drop us a line – because thats what we are here for!

Clair – aka Queen Bee 🙂

5 Benefits & Reasons To Use Facebook Ads

Following on from my last post I wrote, I kinda wanted to continue with some Facebook talk, especially as I am helping Brentwood Golf Club with their Social Profile setting up.

Anyone that starts out with their Social Media marketing needs to be fully aware of all their options available in order to make a go of their social media success.

Facebook is still a key player in all of this, but they have moved the goal posts, and unless you want to part with some money, it can be quite hard to really crack that nut these days.

Top 5 Reasons To Use Facebook Ads
I know A Large Global Business, But Never A Better Example Of Getting Facebook Marketing Right!

We all know in business that we need to speculate to accumulate so it comes as no surprise that I am going to tell you that it is worth considering paid adverts if you are serious about Facebook, because there is only so far you can go for free.

Setting up your Facebook page is exciting, and you instantly think its going to be an overnight success – and sometimes when it lacks momentum it can be a little bit de-motivating when it doesn’t quite happen how you think, and often people want to give up!

Believe it or not, this is more common that you think – to be the next big ‘viral’ hit on Facebook (or ANY Social Networking site) will NOT happen overnight, we really have to work hard to get people to see this page (and realize why they need to come back and visit time and time again because its packed full of great content yeah?!)

This page needs a bit of a kick start right?  This is where FACEBOOK ADS come into play …..

A lot (well pretty much all) of the information that we want to  share with you is about driving traffic to your blog, website, page – and generating those all important ‘Likes’ and followers with free methods available, but make no mistake those methods really do take a lot of time and effort to work ….. They do work, but like I said with time and effort, and if you don’t have a lot of time to put in that type of effort then Facebook Ads facility might just be the key to helping you out here.

Aside from making the world a more connected place for everyone who signs up to the platform, Facebook is a business and a powerful, profitable one at that. So it makes a lot of sense that they have built a successful advertising business that allows individuals the opportunity to connect with their target market / niche.

Top 5 Reasons To Use Facebook Ads

My Top 5 Benefits / Reasons To Use Facebook Ads

  1. Fast Results – Once you have set up your advertising account, you can create a Facebook Ad within minutes. The ad then goes over to be approved (usually approved within a few hours) and then literally in minutes you will start to get impressions, and (hopefully) subsequent LIKES and clicks on your website and facebook page.
  2. Targeted Advertising – This is a great feature! With over 845 million users now CHOOSING to share their likes, interests, hobbies, personal data (relationship status, age, location) etc, you have the ability now to be even more specific in selecting the details of you ideal ‘prospects’ and then get your product / service right in front of their eyes on their screen!
  3. User Friendly Display Ads – These Ads are SO easy to put together!!!  One eye catching image, 135 characters of compelling copy and a killer headline or your page name and you are good to go!
  4. Real-Time Statistics *Almost * – There is a 15 minute delay on numbers, but this means that in pretty much no time at all you will know if the ad is a winner or not.
  5. Cost Effective * if done correctly * – As previously mentioned a lot of the free strategies do often take some time to get going with momentum and the subsequent ‘Likes’ If you traded time for money however for as little as $10 per day, you could potentially gain anywhere between 20-50 new visitors to your business page per day.

The long and the short of this is, Facebook Ads are a pretty quick and easy process for marketing, but like anything there is a risk involved with how successful this can be for anyone using it.

There are a LOT of people using Facebook in the same way as you, so you are competing with every other business out there doing the same with Ads. Whilst the ads can make you money, they can also lose you money just as quick!

The trick is to set up the ads correctly and then managing your daily balance effectively.

If you want to know more about how to go about setting up your first Facebook Ads campaign then I highly recommend that you check out our Bizzebee HIVE – because there is a wealth of experience in there and we will even be hosting webinars, along with lots of video training and downloads that will really help you unlock the enigma of Facebook Adverts.

In conclusion, There is absolutely no rules to say you can only be successful with a Facebook page or building an online following by going down the road of paid advertising, just as much as there is no rule to say it only works if you make use of all the free tools available. Both are equally as successful and relevant if done correctly.

Any questions or you want to learn more, then check out our HIVE for all you online business learning needs.

The Best Of The Web 14/12/2013

Weekly Roundup

Hello Bee’s, Matt again here with this week’s roundup from around the web.  We have a great selection for you that I think you’ll enjoy.

It’s just over a week to Christmas now, so not long left to go to get any last minute presents that you still need to buy.  I still haven’t found time to put up any decorations yet, though I’m determined to do that at some point this weekend.  Never quite feels like Christmas until the tree is up with all the lights on.

Just another reminder that you can sign up for a FREE trial to our brand new membership site ‘The Hive’.  This offer won’t be around for long as we are officially launching on the 6th January 2014, so get in quick.  I’d also like to add that we have a very special Christmas offer planned for our subscribers.  I can’t reveal anything just yet (everything’s a bit hush, hush at the moment), but we are very excited about it, so if you want to learn more, subscribe and we’ll send you info about it in the next couple of days.

Anyway, here is this week’s pick of the bunch from around the web to take a look at.

1. The 12 Cyber-Scams Of Christmas

Sticking with the Christmas theme, however not everything is quite so jolly this time of year.  Online shopping is increasing in popularity, but there are some cyber criminals making the most of this who are looking to scam you out of money.

This post (from the BBC) looks at 12 cyber scams to watch out for online so that you don’t get duped.

2. Staying Ahead of the Curve

This great post was suggested by Clair, mainly because it features Gary Vaynerchuk and she is a HUGE fan of his, but also because it gives great insight into how to stay on top of the competition.

Gary explains some of the things he and his team have done to “stay ahead of the curve”, which is great advice for many businesses (whether online or offline).

3. The Hootlet: Social Sharing for Lazy Professionals

Good friend of the site and former Bizzebee Kapil Jekishan talks about the incredibly useful ‘Hootlet’.

Hootlet is an add-on extension for Google Chrome and Firefox that allows you to share content via HootSuite.  All of the Bizzebee team use HootSuite, so this little add-on is of great help.

4. How to Harness the Power of the Pause

John offers up a great slideshare presentation from ‘WeAreVisual.com’ that looks at speaking.  Many online content creators use video to get across their message, but one issue with that is that it is easy to tell when someone is inexperienced at speaking in front of camera.  Lots of “erm’s” and “err’s” doesn’t come across very well.

In fact this doesn’t just apply to video, anyone that does (or is planning to do) public speaking can learn from this as well.

5. The Purple Cow that’s Right Underneath Your Business’ Nose

This week’s award for best title goes to this post.  Here Marcus Sheridan suggests one of the best ways to make your business stand out amongst everyone else – much like a purple cow.

Every business wants to stand out in some way, as that helps you to get noticed and ultimately (or at least hopefully) leads to creating more sales.

6. 7 Superheroes Who Can Enlighten Entrepreneurs

One post now for the geek inside all of us.  Who doesn’t like a superhero, we all have our favourites (Radioactive Man is mine from the Simpsons) and Ronald Alexander (the writer) has put together a list of traits that can be applied to entrepreneurs.

It’s a bit of fun, but still highlights some of the important characteristics that make up great entrepreneurs.   Which characteristics do you have?

7. 10 Writing Tips for More Engaging Content

This awesome post by David Aston looks at some great tips to help improve your content and make it more engaging for your readers.  He argues that people are a lot more interested in how you present your content rather than what it is actually saying.

All online websites need content, so this post will help you make the most of  it to try and keep your readers on your site for longer.

8. Blog Growth: How to Build a Mega-Following

This post is quite unique as it includes both an interview with Syed Balkhi (founder of WPBeginner.com & List25.com) and information about how he managed to grow his sites to be so popular.

Not only do they talk about the popularity of Syed’s site’s, but they also look at the types of content that they use to create a site that people want to read.

9. Optimize The Top Mobile Tasks On Your Site

This new video by the Google Webmasters team looks at which aspects of your website you should be optimizing for mobile users.

If you haven’t watched any of the Google Webmasters video’s before, I suggest you subscribe to them and spend some time learning from them.  They publish some vital information that can really make a difference to the success of your site.

10. 12 Killer Social Media & Content Marketing Blog Posts from 2013

Lastly, we have a link to a post with some absolutely great social media and content marketing tips for you to take a look at.  The ‘TopRankBlog’ site lists their very best posts from the last year for you to read through again.  I’m a big reader of their site, but there was a couple that I had totally missed.  Make sure you don’t miss out either.

…and finally

To round off this post, we have a sweet and quite amusing letter to Santa from a ten month old for you to check out.

A Ten-Month-Old’s Letter To Santa

There is no need to buy this kid any expensive presents as he seems pretty keen on stuff that you wouldn’t have thought of (makes sense when you read the post).

I’m now off to put my Christmas tree up and wrap up some presents.  Make sure to check back next week for another ‘Bizzebee – Best Of The Web’. 🙂

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